By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) has reiterated its commitment to sustainability with a pledge to entrench positive environmental practices in its operations and amongst its stakeholders.
The Managing Director of the Mr Tony Okpanachi stated this at an event to mark this year’s World Environment Day (WED) in Abuja.
In his message to the staff at the series of events organized to celebrate the day, Okpanachi who highlighted some of the various challenges facing the environment said the DBN will continue to prioritize and focus on issues of sustainability essentially, aimed at addressing some of these challenges.
According to him: “The World Environment Day is a day set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness on and take action against various environmental issues such as marine pollution, human overpopulation, global warming, sustainable consumption, and wildlife crime. We, as a Bank, will continue to align our operations with issues of sustainability by focusing on issues that put our environment at risk.”
He emphasized that: “This year’s theme of “Ecosystem Restoration” is a call on everyone – governments, corporate organizations, and individuals – to participate in growing trees, greening cities, rewilding gardens, changing diets, or cleaning up rivers and coasts. We are embracing this theme by contributing to the greening of our immediate environments in Lagos and Abuja”.
The Managing Director listed some of the activities the Bank and its subsidiary, Impact Credit Guarantee Limited, will be undertaking as part of this year’s celebration to include participation in the restoration of green space on school grounds – the planting of carpet grass, trees, and landscape designs by staff in selected schools, Government Junior Secondary School Durumi, Abuja, and Badore Community School, Lagos, as well as a financial endowment to “Green Clubs in the respective schools’’.
“Today we also launched “Green Clubs” for our chosen schools in Lagos and Abuja. These clubs will teach the students how to respect and nurture the environment and will ensure that our efforts do not end after we leave, but truly become sustainable solutions for our communities, moving forward,” he noted.
In addition to the two-phased activities, the Managing Director also, announced that the Bank is partnering with MOE +Art Architecture, a local sustainability enabled design and architecture firm focused on creating sustainable practices and methodologies, to research, test, and archive local indigenous sustainable materials from four geographical locations in Nigeria.
Okpanachi stated that: “By partnering with a local design and architecture firm, we are contributing to research on reusable materials. It is our vision that this body of work will enable MSMEs across Nigeria to innovate and use available local materials as a source of wealth generation,”
World Environment Day is celebrated annually on 5 June and is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment. It was first held in 1974 and has since then, been acknowledged as a global platform for raising awareness on environmental issues. It provides an opportunity for businesses, non-government organizations, communities, governments, and celebrities to advocate and pursue environmental causes. Over 143 countries participate in this celebration annually.
The Development Bank of Nigeria Plc is a wholesale development finance institution, established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in collaboration with global development partners (The World Bank, AfDB, KfW, AFD, and EIB) to address the major financing challenges facing Micro, Small, and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.
DBN carries out this function by providing financial institutions, predominantly Deposit Money and Microfinance Banks with on-lending facilities designed to meet the needs of this segment.