By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
A financial institution has donated 700 overall reflective vests to the Cross River State government in a bid to properly kit waste management personnel to ensure their safety.
Making the presentation to Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade in his office on Wednesday, the General Manager, South South, South East and Midwest and Executive Director designate Commercial and Institutional banking of Sterling bank, Mr. Emmanuel Emefienim said the institution was proud of Mr. Ayade and intends to keep the environment safe.
“What we have realised is that some of these people who help us clean the environment, they are vulnerable to accidents and things like that,” said Emmanuel who said the same had been done for states like Lagos, Rivers, Delta, Abia and Edo.
He continued: “So, we felt it will be nice if we cloth them with reflective jackets to enable them carry out their assignments without fear of being knocked down by fast moving vehicles.
“When they put this on, you can see them from a very far distance. Of course, even at night it reflects.”
He said the gesture was due to the fact that the bank was “so proud” of Mr. Ayade and felt “obliged to support you in our own little way at least to make the environment safe and secure especially in terms of cleanliness.”
Furthermore he averred that they were customised in a way that: “It identifies clearly with gardeners and cleaners and we have 700 pieces of these.
“In addition to this, we have been mandated to inform Your Excellency that we will be partnering with the ministry of environment to identify strategic roundabouts in the state that we can also beautify and maintain going forward.”
On finances, Mr. Emmanuel said that: “We are also open as a bank to supporting the state with access to funding options that will help them develop infrastructure and the state that we can discuss at a later date with His Excellency.”
In his remarks, Mr. Ayade said the bank’s approach surprised him and pledged to support the institution.
“For the first time, in a classical departure from tradition and what I know, here it is we have a bank that is coming to bring value, bringing service and not talking about business.
“I think this is a very fantastic way to go and my heart goes with Sterling bank and to know that I am not doing much with Sterling bank at this moment, they have really found a very smart and intelligent way that you have tweaked my hand and my conscience to say we must do business with you,” Ayade said and maintain that for caring about the safety of environmental and waste management staff, the institution really cared.
“They are not doing this just because they are bankers but because they do care and I really will want to thank you and against that background also, my commissioner for environment will be mandated and instructed by me to work along with you to see how we can give you the very best, the most exposed, the one that is so striking to the public, a very special park that will be christened, the Sterling park.
“And wherever you have that Sterling bank park which will be nurtured by yourself, the governor’s sit out, my evenings, anytime I want to have a special program, I will go to Sterling bank’s park,” Ayade said, adding that; “The level of reflectiveness that I have seen shows also that you are worried about the safety of our people.”
The state was recently grappling with challenges of waste evacuation which seemed to have been surmounted.
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