Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday led art connoisseurs, architects and designers from about 100 countries attending the African Culture and Design Festival (ACDF) to the Sterling Bank RecyclArt booth on November 10, 2017, in Lagos to vote for repurposed art entries.
At the event, the vice president commended Sterling Bank for introducing RecyclArt, a competition which inspires young artists in the country to use waste materials to create works of art.
He thereafter voted â€˜soiled soilâ€™, an emotive repurposed art work that calls out the environmental challenges in the Niger Delta, as his favorite for grand prize.
Reviewing the 16 top artworks from a pool of 630 entries received from across Nigeria, Osinbajo also lasuded the inventiveness of the 16 artists that made the final shortlist. He called on aspiring artists in the country to reuse and repurpose old objects to create inspiring artworks and wealth for themselves.
The Executive Director, Finance and Strategy of Sterling Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, who received Osinbajo at the Sterling Bank booth, disclosed that Recyclart was introduced to empower young artists while also supporting the environment by promoting the recycling and repurposing of waste materials.
According to Suleiman, RecyclArt is part of Sterling Environmental Makeover (STEM), the bankâ€™s umbrella Corporate Social Responsibility programme, which promotes good sanitation, hygiene and environmental sustainability across Nigeria in fulfillment of the bankâ€™s brand purpose of enriching lives.
He added: â€œCare for the environment has become vital because we do not have to go far to see the negative effects of improper waste disposal. In July, a heavy downpour led to a flash flood in Suleja in Niger State. 500 people were declared missing while 90 buildings collapsed. At the same time, houses were flooded, and cars submerged in upper class and low-income Lagos neighbourhood.
â€œFlooding, especially the types experienced in most urban neighbourhood in Nigeria are not mainly an act of nature. They are caused by poor sanitation. Indeed, Nigerians largely determine the state of their immediate environment anytime it rains. Most drainages, canals and highway man-holes across the country are blocked due to the indiscriminate dumping of refuse, plastic bottles, empty cans, pure water sachets and water nylons,â€ he stated.
He disclosed that RecyclArt is about using the power of the arts to awaken the citizenry to the need for a change of attitude in how they relate to the environment and rethink how items that should be recycled can be disposed of in a creative manner.