By Itohan Abara-Laserian
Sterling Bank Plc has unveiled Sterling CARES, a free banking service for non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to empower non-profit organisations across the country.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Chief Executive Officer of Sterling One Foundation, Mrs Olapeju Ibekwe, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
Ibekwe said the unveiling was in partnership between Sterling One Foundation and the Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO), to mark World International Day of Charity.
According to her, the new product will allow NGOs to operate their corporate accounts without transaction charges, except for SMS notification charges.
She said that the International Day of Charity provides an excellent opportunity to publicly support the social impact and philanthropic activities of charitable institutions via fee-free solution.
Ibekwe said: “Sterling CARES is open only to NGOs, legal entities operating for a social benefit.
” It is introduced to help them keep costs down at this challenging time when their work and support is needed now more than ever by people with a low socio-economic background.
“The product is exclusive to non-profit organisations who are the primary foot soldiers working to attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for all.
“It is not open to religiously shaped institutions, cooperative societies, schools, and associations.
“We recognise that non-profits like us help lots of people who are struggling to make ends meet through donations and various interventions. However, funding is one of the leading challenges currently facing the NGOs,” she said.
Ibekwe, therefore, urged NGOs in the country to take advantage of the novel Sterling CARES account to keep costs low.
According to her, alternative sources of income, charitable contributions, and funding for thei, no thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Divisional Head, Retail and Consumer Banking, Mr Shina Atilola stressed that Sterling Bank had always prioritised enabling social impact in its business operations.
Atilola added that the solution was bespoke to bridge the funding gap for non-profits while helping to deliver a customer-centric solution to this unique customer base.
“They can now bring their banking cost down and do more with the savings from account maintenance fees and transactions related charges.
“Additional benefits include access to a full bouquet of online banking services and a donation link on the website of nonprofits for receiving local and international transfers,” he added.
The Executive Director, Nigeria Network of NGOs, Mr Oyebisi Oluseyi said the non-profit membership body was delighted to receive the news of the introduction of Sterling CARES and its benefits.
“This novel product is a declaration of support by the Bank and Foundation for those committed to social impact work and the attainment of the SDG in Nigeria.
“This will go a long way in further increasing both the social and economic impact of Nigerian nonprofits while contributing to the good work non-profit organisations do across the country in the areas of environment, human rights among others”, he stated.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)