Banking Group Promotes Sustainability in Lagos Beach

A clean-up event and awareness programme were arranged in the Lafiaji community of Lagos State by the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles Champions Group.

This group comprises several financial institutions in Nigeria, including commercial banks, development financial institutions and mortgage banks.Their primary focus is to encourage sustainability within the industry.

The group proactively organized the clean-up initiative and implemented educational activities to promote environmental consciousness within the community.

“We have a lot of plastic waste in the ocean and this is just one of the initiatives that the NBSP have come up with to beat or address this solution,” Kosiso Iwugo, Sustainable Finance Associate at Access Corporation, said in her address.

“We organised this clean-up at the Lafiaji beach in a bid to protect the environment, protect marine life, address the issues of biodiversity loss and raise awareness on climate change, especially on the importance of having clean beaches.

“We are also encouraging the residents to use less plastic where possible. If there are other alternatives to plastic; be it paper bags that you can use to pack or to store items, you don’t always have to use plastic because plastic takes a very long while to decay and that’s bad for the environment, it’s bad for the ocean. So, we are encouraging a lot of people to do that,” Kosiso added.

Similarly, Sodiq Jinad, principal plogga, Plogging Nigeria, said: “Unarguably, the problem of plastic pollution is a multi-faceted problem in the sense that it requires a multi-prong approach in order to address it; ranging from sensitisation and publicity, just like what we are doing today to things like recycling, and upcycling which actually address the problem of plastic pollution.

“Sensitizations like this is an effective strategy towards improving environmental sustainability, addressing plastic pollution and ensuring a better environment.

”It’s very important that all institutions; the private sector government and other relevant stakeholders tie into the issue of sustainability so that we can have a better planet, live a better society for all to live in.”

“There’s research that says by 2050, we will have more plastic in the ocean than fishes and right now, the fish we consume contain some microplastic and that’s not good for our health in the long run. It will have some health hazards and we don’t want that to continue on the long run,” Yemi Akinrelere, team lead, Sustainability Polaris Bank, said“On getting into this environment. I noticed a lot of plastic waste and some other waste by the beach side and it seems the community are not even aware of what it takes to clean up this waste and knowing full well that they are not just wastes that can be condemned, they can still be used for other things and that’s part of the reason why we’re here today”, he added.

On waste generation at its source, Omotara Olajumoke, a mobile crane operator and volunteer, emphasised the importance of influencing people’s behaviour. She said: “We made an effort to connect with individuals in their homes, encourage them and also educate them on how to separate trash, such as plastics, cartons, cans and similar items.

“Money can also serve as a motivating factor for people to keep their surroundings clean, aside from the humanitarian aspect, when they are compensated in exchange for wastes that can be recycled.”