Heritage Bank Supports Reforestation Project

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Heritage Bank Plc said it recently threw its weight behind Globus Resources Limited, a subsidiary of Triton Group, to flag off the second phase of afforestation programme in Oyo state.

The bank said as the first financier, it had earlier financed the first phase of the project and offered N2billion long-term facility to enable Triton Aqua Africa Limited (TAAL) expand its aquaculture businesses- nursery/hatchery for the production of fingerlings and brood stock in Ikeja; and earthen ponds for catfish and tilapia in Asejire, Iwo and Gambari towns in Oyo.

Under the programme, Globus Resources is expected to plant about 350,000 seedlings of teak, Gmelina arborea and Cidrella trees yearly over a period nine years in a bid to reforest about nine thousand hectares of land in Gambari village in Oyo state which had been exploited by tree fellers for timbers among others.

Managing Director/CEO of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, was quoted in statement to have commended the governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and the Triton Group for the initiative between the state and Globus Resources to reforest the area again.

He added: “We seem to forget that our lives as Nigerians/Africans started with the land. If we don’t take care of the land, the land will take care of us, the land does not need us, and we need the land to take care of us. Afforestation is one of the ways to take care of the land and we need to talk about carbon credit because we need to find a way to make money.”

However, Sekibo expressed satisfaction with the pace at which the project was going; as he assured the company’s team that Heritage Bank would continue to support the genuine cause by Triton Group to boost the agricultural base of the nation as long as the business relationship between the bank and Triton Aqua is mutually beneficial.

On his part, the Chairman/MD of Triton Group, Ashvin Samtani, said the group had been operating in Nigeria for about 40 years, saying they are Nigerians, not expatriates. He added that beyond the tree planting initiative, the group intends to employ about 5,000 people.