Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, has commended Sterling Bank Plc for its intervention in Nigeria’s transport sector, saying such intervention from the private sector is what the transport sector requires to achieve the desired transformation.
Senator Ashafa who stated this at the second edition of the annual conference of Transportation Growth Initiative (TGI) in Abuja recently noted that Sterling Bank has, indeed, established itself as the reference bank in transport finance as a result of its investment in the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and LAGBUS initiatives of the Lagos State Government.
The Senator said ‘’I want to commend Sterling Bank for its support to the transport sector so far. I am aware that Sterling Bank financed both the LAGBUS buses and over 400 BRT buses plying various routes on Lagos roads. It is our hope that the bank would expand this experience beyond Lagos so that people living in other parts of Nigeria will also benefit from their benevolence.’’
Earlier in his speech, Mr. Tunde Adeola, General Manager, Sterling Bank reiterated the bank’s commitment to the economic growth and stability of the country. According to Adeola, ‘’as an institution that truly cares about the people of this country, we have realized the urgent need for the intervention of the private sector in key sectors of the economy for meaningful impact as government alone cannot shoulder this huge responsibility due to the dwindling revenue from its major source of income.’’
This, he said, is the major reason why the bank intervened in various sectors of the economy namely Health, Agriculture and Education through financial services and other partnerships. “Our main objective is to improve standards in these sectors. We have received recognition and awards from regulators and players and currently growing our portfolio for impact in these sectors,” he said.
He added that even as Sterling Bank has made landmark success in the mass transit system through LAGBUS and BRT initiatives in Lagos State, the bank will not relent in its effort to raise standards in the transport sector through financial services platforms and other partnerships.
“We are prepared to reach out and engage with major stakeholders across the value chain in the sector during the two-day period and see how we can collaborate to fully understand the sector and the needs of the operators and, at the same time, identify opportunities and areas of potential impact,” he said.
The GM commended TGI for living up to its vision of harnessing and developing a pool of sound human resources that will use scientific approaches to make Nigeria’s transport system more efficient and globally competitive. TGI is also expected to address transportation challenges of all modes from a unified stakeholder platform and build capacity for sustainable, safe and efficient transportation system for the country.