Stanbic IBTC’s Transformative ‘Adopt-A-School’ Initiative: Empowering Nigeria’s Future

Ensuring access to quality education is a fundamental right and a crucial investment in a nation’s future. In areas where reality paints a sobering picture, prioritising education reform and investment in educational infrastructure has become increasingly essential.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Nigeria, about 10.5 million children aged five to fourteen years are not in school despite primary education being officially free and compulsory. This statistic underscores the critical challenges faced by the country’s educational system, particularly regarding infrastructure deficits and disparities in access.

The ideal state of public education should be one in which every Nigerian child, regardless of socio-economic background or geographic location, has equal access to well-equipped schools, conducive learning environments, and quality educational resources. It should foster an atmosphere that nurtures young minds, equips them with essential knowledge and skills, and empowers them to reach their full potential, ultimately contributing to the nation’s growth and development.

Acknowledging the urgent need to bridge this gap, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a leading end-to-end financial services provider in Nigeria, has taken a bold step forward with its remarkable ‘Adopt-A-School’ initiative. Driven by a deep commitment to corporate social investment and a vision for inclusive development, this programme addresses the critical infrastructure deficits plaguing many Nigerian schools.

By investing in education as a catalyst for societal progress, Stanbic IBTC embarked on an audacious journey to create conducive learning environments that nurture young minds and unlock their full potential. With a strategic approach that prioritises underserved areas and rural communities, primary and secondary schools were meticulously selected as beneficiaries, guided by a holistic assessment of factors such as location, school size, infrastructure needs, and input from educational authorities.
The programme’s geographic spread includes schools in Borno, Akwa Ibom, Sokoto, and Ekiti states, ensuring geo-political coverage and impact.

Dr Demola Sogunle, CEO of Stanbic IBTC, underscored the initiative’s strategic importance, stating, “Our commitment to adopting these schools reflects our dedication to implementing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategies as part of our core business practices. We believe in promoting sustainability and making a positive impact on communities.”

Demola also emphasised the initiative’s socio-economic benefits: “Education is a cornerstone for societal development. By adopting these schools, we are not only contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 but also investing in the future of these communities.”

As part of the transformative exercise, Stanbic IBTC renovated and rebuilt classroom blocks, provided modern and conducive learning environments, furnished classrooms, established computer laboratories, and provided necessary digital resources to empower students.

Furthermore, Stanbic IBTC created an inclusive and supportive educational ecosystem by providing 10-seater workstations and renovating toilet blocks, ensuring the students had the required resources.

Stanbic IBTC showcased its commitment to sustainable construction practices by prioritising passive cooling and ventilation techniques, water conservation through rainwater harvesting, construction of water-efficient plumbing systems, and installation of energy-efficient appliances and lighting solutions on the facilities.

In addition, they prioritised the sustainable use of local resources to minimise emissions from transportation and support the local economy. Skills development was integral, with the deployment and training of local craftsmen for ongoing infrastructure maintenance. The Group also integrated climate-adaptive landscaping, ensuring resilience against the impacts of climate change.

Demola reiterated Stanbic IBTC’s commitment to responsible corporate citizenship, “Our goal is to make a lasting positive impact on communities through our initiatives and enabling sustainable and thriving environments for generations to come.”

The Adopt-a-School programme is structured according to Stanbic IBTC’s Social, Environmental, and Economic (SEE) framework, which aligns with the Group’s mission to be a responsible corporate citizen.

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