The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has presented unique challenges that require collective efforts of the government, organisations and the general public to resolve. The wave of change happening in the world today is a clear-cut result of the pandemic.
In Nigeria, the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in February in the city of Lagos and has since spread to other states in the country. It became imminent for organisations and individuals to rise to the occasion to support the government and the citizens in the fight against the common enemy.
In this regard, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, being a socially responsible organisation, with healthcare as one of its CSR pillars, played its part in assisting Nigeria and its people to combat the virus.
In a bid to safeguard the lives of its customers and staff, the firm closed some of its offices and instituted strict health measures, placing people’s health and safety over profit considerations. Currently, branches are implementing compulsory health protocols to prevent the spread of the pandemic in the nation.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) instituted the Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID) in March 2020 and Stanbic IBTC was named as a member of the Operations Committee. This committee was saddled with the responsibility of managing projects, logistics, communication, and advocacy.
Stanbic IBTC demonstrated total commitment to this cause by donating N250 million to the CACOVID Relief Fund.
SUPPORT FOR STATES
As part of its corporate social responsibility, Stanbic IBTC additionally donated the sum of N50 million to the Lagos State Government, to support the procurement of needed resources and strengthen the capability of the public and private sectors’ healthcare systems to respond to the crisis.
To increase testing and diagnosis capacities in Akwa Ibom State, the leading end to end financial institution also donated N20 million to set up specialised testing centres. This was achieved in partnership with Inoyo Toro Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in the State.
SUPPORT FOR HEALTH INSTITUTIONS AND OTHERS
FATE Philanthropy Coalition for COVID-19 (FPCC) Support Fund, an initiative of FATE Foundation, received a donation of N25 million from Stanbic IBTC. This intervention fund was established to support national and local efforts to strengthen public health infrastructure to cushion the pressures presented by the pandemic. Part of the funds was used in setting up special Covid-19 wards at the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos state and at the Institute for Venture Design (IVD) facility in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The effect of Covid-19 left many hungry and Stanbic IBTC, through its partnership with Givefood.ng, an NGO for emergency food relief, provided food for 5,250 families to soften the level of hunger caused by the pandemic in the country.
To support the government’s effort in increasing testing capacities across the country, Stanbic IBTC also donated test kits to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Abuja, Lagos, Cross Rivers, Kaduna State government, University College Hospital, Ibadan as well as National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) in Lagos.
The firm introduced some customer relief initiatives to reduce the burden caused by the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Some of these relief measures include the waiving of transfer charges on the first five interbank transfers in April, waiving of current account maintenance and interbank transfer charges, amongst others. Similarly, measures were put in placeto ensure that mobile services offered the best online services 24 hours a day. This increased the use of digital banking platforms to reduce the need for physical contacts when making transactions.
To encourage more digital transactions, the organisation recently upgraded its mobile application to become the first-ever mobile app in the Nigerian market comprising of a broad range of end-to-end financial services. Customers’ digital capabilities have been enhanced with the insight-driven 6-in-1 mobile app tagged “Super App”.
The six financial modules in the Super App are: My Bank, @easewallet, Pensions, Insurance, Mutual Funds and Stocks. Apart from using My Bank and @easewallet for core banking transactions, customers are now able to subscribe to and withdraw from mutual funds, apply for insurance policies as well as manage their stock broking and pensions accounts, regardless of having a functional Stanbic IBTC Bank account.
The unprecedented advent of the pandemic has revealed that everyone has a role to play in helping the nation overcome any form of challenge and Stanbic IBTC has demonstrated its commitment to continually improve society by its diverse interventions during these trying times.