[FILE] Sterling Bank[/caption4To support the growth and development of the Nigerian economy, leading lender, Sterling Bank Plc, announced a partnership with Nigeria's premier automobile manufacturer, Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN), to deliver 50 made-to-order vehicles for official use across the bank's locations nationwide.
In a first of-its-kind partnership, Sterling Bank teamed up with the Kaduna-based automaker to customise the vehicles based on their deep understanding of the Nigerian terrain as well as required mode of usage.
"Following our strategic drive as a bank to focus on impacting the critical sectors of the Nigerian economy, we had to evaluate every aspect of our business transactions to ensure we were doing same to support the growth of the economy.
"By acquiring our company pool cars from a local manufacturer, we ensured that not only will the funds circulate within Nigeria, the impact of the partnership will equally boost our local manufacturing sector to provide jobs and improve the skills of people participating in that sector, said Raheem Owodeyi, Chief Operating Officer, Sterling Bank.
Also, the bank's Head, General Internal Services, Adebomi Adewale, said: "We see this partnership as a game changer, and one that will influence the perception people have about locally manufactured vehicles, as the procured vehicles will be deployed in all our branches nationwide.
"It is also the first time a bank in Nigeria will look beyond the short term gains of patronising affordable foreign based manufacturers to the impact of its dealings on the wider economy."
In addition, the bank also signed a fleet maintenance agreement with PAN, which will see the automaker carry out routine maintenance on the vehicles to ensure optimum utilisation of the fleet over a three-year period.
Managing Director at Peugeot Nigeria, Ibrahim Boyi, said: "When the Sterling Bank team approached us, they were specific on the kind of vehicles they wanted, and the impact they wanted to make in the society, which made it easy for us to design vehicles with the right kind of efficiencies and an understanding of the locations in which the cars will be used.
"We are certain this is beyond a one-off procurement deal, but a partnership that will set the standards on how company cars should be used and maintained."
Earlier in the year, Sterling Bank had announced a commitment to adopt renewable and cleaner sources of energy with a commitment to reducing diesel powered energy generation across its branches by 50% at the end of 2020.
The bank believes the addition of low emission vehicles to its fleet will go a long way in reducing its carbon footprint by 2020.
While partnering with a local manufacturer will improve the economy, the fleet maintenance agreement will also ensure skills acquisition in the real sector and a reduction in Nigeria's unemployment rate.[