Sterling Bank, Dealing and Aiming Big in Transportation

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Sterling Bank has undoubtedly exhibited an unwavering commitment to the transport sector of the Nigerian economy, investing in direct automobile procurement and technology aided operation in the sector to aid human and material movement.

Sterling Bank is ‘one Customer Bank’ that treat every customer as if he is the only customer. This catchphrase resonates through the organization and firing up momentum for operational and strategic goals.

The Bank has truly designed goals to be driving within the HEART of the economy. The HEART is a proposition that represent Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation. This is rightly the heart of the economy even the Nigerian economy that yearn for attention in these sectors if growth must be stimulated

As rightly said by the Sector Lead for Transport, Maritime and Logistics of the Bank, Olusoji Akintola, Transportation is a critical sector in any economy and contributes substantially to the economic development of most developed and developing nations.

Leadership of Sterling Bank led by Abubakar Suleiman is truly dealing and aiming big in the sector, working with both governments and private organizations with the singular purpose of building the sector to compete with those of developed economies and contribute substantially to the nation’s GDP

In many countries of the world, transportation sector contributes between 6% and 14% to GDP.  But according to the last two GDP reports by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, the contribution of the Transportation and Storage sector (combine) to real GDP in Q1 2021 was 1.38% while it was 1.32% in Q4 2020

In views of this, the bank is up to support the sector and come up with solutions to solve two major challenges which are within its capacity. They are low capital (funding) to the sector and poor fare collection systems

Dealing big

Sterling Bank in 2016 financed over 400 BRT buses plying various routes on Lagos roads. That greatly enhanced commuting in the most populous State in Nigeria.

Partnership with Lagos state continued in May 2019 when the State, Institute of Road Transport Workers, IRTW, Micro-Bus Owners Association of Nigeria, MOOAN and others partnered Sterling Bank Plc to unveil Micro-Bus Empowerment Scheme in Lagos.

The success in this partnership has prompted the need for expansion of the experience beyond Lagos as discussions are ongoing with various state government on the deployment of mass transit system and Micro-Bus Scheme in their states; one of them is Oyo State

Oyo State Government announced recently its intention to empower commercial motorists in the State in partnership with Sterling Bank PLC., to float a Micro-Bus Empowerment Scheme to further reduce the level of unemployment and poverty in the State.

On June 15, 2020, Africa’s leading ride-hailing platform, Bolt, in partnership with Bank’s Alternative Finance launched a vehicle financing programme that will enable drivers to own a car with low equity repayment. This scheme will allow drivers with the platform to buy new cars and this will be extended to non-Bolt drivers

Sterling Bank is not just focused on human transit, it has equally extended its transport financing to efficient waste conveyance. The Bank has introduced the Waste Compactor Finance Scheme to support waste managers to acquire and efficiently deploy functional compactors/trucks for effective collection and disposal of waste.

After a successful partnership with LAWMA in Lagos and OGWAMA in Ogun state, the bank has started engagements with other states and expect them to come onboard soon.

To be holistic in its focus on transportation, Sterling Bank is not leaving water transport out and have commenced strategic partnership to boost financing in that area.

“To reduce the pressure on road transportation, the bank is currently engaging operators and regulators in the water transportation sub – sector to see how we could finance more boats for the operators. The Bank is also in discussions with boats manufacturers to assist them with the required finance to meet the needs of the market and promote local content,” Akintola said

As stated earlier, one major challenge in the Nigerian transport sector is low technology deployment to fare collection, resulting in revenue loss to pilferages. Investors and financial institutions, for this snag, finds the sector unstable for investment.

Instead of staying off, Sterling Bank from the onset, launched a $50bn investment contactless card, FarePay, an electronic payment system which allows accountability in the collections of fares.

Farepay is a multimodal contactless payment card for use on mass transit buses, ferries and trains. The Card in 2018, won the ‘Card with the Most Utility Relevance for the Cardholder’ category at the Digital Pay Expo Awards.

[READ ALSO] Sterling Bank is building the Heart of the Economy

The Farepay cards are built on a contactless payment technology, with a connected bus validator system linked to the users’ bank account allowing passengers to ‘tap in and tap out’ of BRT buses with ease.

Abubakir Suleiman described it as the largest of its scale in Africa and is Europay, MasterCard and Visa-compliant.

Aiming Big

Sterling Bank is poised to position itself to be the “go-to bank for transport finance;” as Akintola calls it. Management team of the financial institution understands the place of transportation to the economy and is working assiduously in partnership with relevant authorities to build a vibrant sector.

Suleiman stated at the launch of farepay thus; “We are driven by the understanding that an efficient transport system facilitates trade, reduces poverty and creates economic and social opportunities while enhancing human development through greater mobility. Working with our partners, our vision over the next few years is to understand the peculiarities of various locations and replicate this kind of solution across the nation. Transformation of the transport value chain is imperative for us at Sterling Bank.”

Sterling Bank, therefore is aiming to effect

Finance technology based bespoke solutions for top players in the transport and logistics space in the area of tracking, moving and fare collection in a manner that position the sector to compete well with other countries of the world .

Finance efficient mass transportation system linking rural areas with cities to facilitate Trade and Investment and boost productivity across board

Finance carbon free buses like electric and gas powered vehicles to reduce carbon emissions in tune with global discuss around the environment and climate change

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