Stanbic IBTC has launched a N100 billion-infrastructure fund to boost economic growth.
Managing Director, Stanbic IBTC, Demola Sogunle, who disclosed this said the lender considers infrastructure development as a key driver of economic growth and development.
He said proceeds of the fund would be deployed to boost economic activities in critical sectors, such as transportation, education and health.
Noting that education and health are key CSI pillars at Stanbic IBTC, the bank chief said since the first tranche of the infrastructure fund was launched, the result had been positive and widely accepted.
“Our strategy in using the Series One as a vehicle to attract investments from domestic institutional investors has been successful. We also saw a good turnout from insurance companies and high net worth individuals. They bought into the story and vision of trying to invest their funds in the infrastructure fund, which can be categorised as an alternative asset plan,” he said.
Sogunle, who said the bank chose education as one of its CSI pillars, stressed that it was one of the ways to secure Nigeria’s future by empowering the youths and deploying resources towards reducing the level of unemployment.
He maintained that youths are very important to ensure inclusiveness within the context of economic growth.
Speaking on how the bank had driven Nigeria’s growth since 2015, Sogunle, said Stanbic IBTC had facilitated over $35 billion worth of capital inflows into the country.
He said despite the advent of COVID-19 and the negative impact of the economy, it attracted almost $.8 billion of foreign portfolio investment this year.
He added: “We are funding and making sure that savings of retirees are well managed, and payments made monthly to ensure that they continue to enjoy the fruits of their labour. We achieve this with our pension subsidiary, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, which is Nigeria’s biggest pension fund administrator by number of customers and assets under management.
“We are doing a lot in the health care sector as well. Last week, we commissioned a teaching hospital at Baze University. This will be the largest private teaching hospital in the South of the Sahara. It measures about 10,000 square meters and we are funding it. We are intervening in public healthcare sectors and education because, as I mentioned earlier, they represent the pillars of our social initiatives as a responsible corporate entity.
“Our interventionist activities include giving scholarships, donation of learning materials, building educational structures, and even resuscitating dilapidated structures. We are also involved in extra-curricular activities such as sponsoring football competitions among students of tertiary institutions. We aim to develop the knowledge of our youths and even help some of them develop their talents and skill sets, which may hitherto be hidden. We train youths interested in Artificial Intelligence, programming, coding, data analytics, data science and we also pay for them to be certified.
“We are doing a lot on economic empowerment. In the last 12 months, we have increased our portfolio for SMEs. The percentage increase is more than 300 per cent and we are just starting. We will continue to do even more.”