For the leading banker, Stanbic IBTC, corporate social investment is not merely an appendage to business, but an ingrained corporate philosophy. No doubt, its business philosophy is anchored on in building relationships and trust with the communities and other key stakeholders.  As far as the bank is concerned, three critical areas define the advancement of any community and other critical stakeholders.  These areas include health, education, and economic empowerment; hence the focus on these three pillars in its CSR initiatives. To help achieve qualitative healthcare and education and sustainable economic empowerment, the bank, in partnership with the communities, has always operated by employing a research-based approach to deeply understand the socio-economic needs of these communities.

Chief among the numerous major sustainable projects embarked upon by the bank is the signature project called Together4ALimb. The initiative is committed to bringing hope to limbless children over the years.  It focuses on transforming the lives of children that have lost their limbs from congenital disabilities, accidents, and mismanaged injuries by giving them prosthetic limbs.  It is worthy of mention that the initiative focuses on healthcare, while also addressing the beneficiaries’ educational needs, in line with the three cardinal CSI objectives.  Even the unprecedented disruption of movements and activities resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak last year, did not stop it from still holding. A web application was rather created to encourage interested individuals to participate in that edition, held virtually.

In the end, the objective to create awareness about the challenges endured by children living without limb was mainly achieved even amidst the pandemic. In that year, ten children were fitted with prosthetic limbs and also awarded educational trusts of ₦1.5 million each in furtherance of their dreams of acquiring quality education. Since inception, the bank has provided prosthetics and education trust worth ₦250 million for 40 children. Another major sustainable and impactful CSR project by the bank is the annual award of scholarship to qualified undergraduates. In line with its recognition of the importance and impact of education in the life of every Nigerian youth, the bank launched its maiden scholarship program in 2019.

The scholarship scheme is aimed at encouraging hard work and academic excellence amongst Nigerian undergraduates. The scholarship program was open to students who participated in the 2019 and 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (“UTME”), and gained admission into any federal or state tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The 2020 candidates made a direct application through the Qualtrics portal. A total scholarship value of at least ₦34.8 million is to be spread across four years and disbursed in tranches of ₦100,000 per academic year to each beneficiary. Subsequent disbursements are based on maintaining at least second class upper grades, and the student’s good conduct as referenced by the university.  Beside funding of these major CSR projects, the bank through staff volunteerism is also involved in other basic projects that are directed and targeted at the three CSI pillars including health, education and economic empowerment. In 2020, for instance, the contribution from staff volunteers through different teams and corresponding matching fund added up to over #109 million to fund projects in these CSI areas. Such projects include, but not limited to provision of boreholes, renovation and construction of schools and hospitals, provision of computer facilities, relief materials and welfare packages and support for SMEs and others too numerous to mention.

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