Sterling Bank partners LASG to feed 158,000 pupils in 32 schools

Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading commercial bank, has partnered with the Lagos State Government (LASG) to feed about 158,000 children in 32 public schools for five days in the Lagos Island area of the state.

The bank disclosed this recently at an event to appreciate volunteers who participated in the pilot stage of the project recently.

Snacks4Thought, a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of the Office of Civic Engagement, which is still at the pilot stage, is designed to feed disadvantaged children from Nursery One to Primary Six in public schools in Lagos State.

While commending Lagos State for the initiative and the successful outcome of the pilot, Education Sector Lead of Sterling Bank, Ms. Eniola Obe, explained that the bank decided to partner the state government on the Snacks4Thought initiative because the project aligns with the education component of its HEART of Sterling programme which focuses investments in five critical sectors of the economy. The sectors are health, education, agriculture, renewable energy and transportation.

Obe explained that the bank is willing to partner with operators in both public and private sectors as part of efforts to improve the quality of education in Nigeria.

She said 270 members of staff of Sterling Bank across all levels participated in the project as volunteers across the 32 schools earmarked for the pilot stage, which represents a total of 2,700 volunteering hours in January alone.

She commended the Lagos State Government for the initiative and described it as an outstanding one, adding that it will help to address the twin social menace of hunger and poverty. She expressed the hope that the initiative will be a continuous effort between the state government and private sector partners.

The Education Sector Lead observed that from available records, out of 15 million children who enrolled into primary schools yearly, only 5.4 million of them gain admission into secondary schools because of poverty and inability of their parents to pay school fees as well as feed them.

“So this is something all of us have a responsibility to take care of,” Obe said, stressing that every stakeholder must dedicate resources and make commitments towards taking care of the children.

She said Sterling Bank has committed itself to the feeding of 100 children every day in Lagos State and encouraged well-meaning citizens to be part of the initiative because it is something which the bank is very passionate about.

Also speaking, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Government on Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, said the Lagos State Government launched the Snacks4Thought initiative as part of an effort to encourage primary school children to stay in school and complete their primary education.

Adebowale remarked that the importance of the initiative could not be over-emphasised as snacks served as breakfast for pupils in the participating schools in the Lagos Island area would help to energise them and make them attentive during classes while also improving school attendance as could be observed from the various reports from the affected schools during the pilot stage.

According to her, the initiative would also “serve as an incentive for higher enrolment and retention of pupils in schools in the state and this, without doubt, would have a multiplier effect on the Team’s agenda of the state government as it would lead to quality education which would facilitate the breeding of a generation of citizens that would uphold societal values and sustain the growth of the state and the country.”

She remarked that volunteers responded massively at short notice and commended them for their selflessness, time and energy brought to bear on public service.

Princess Adebowale called on private sector operators, philanthropists and development partners to join hands with the state government to sustain the project because the government cannot do it alone.

Leave a comment

Back to top button