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Clean-up initiative gets governance board

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The multi-city beach clean-up exercise initiated by Chief Executive Officer at Sterling Bank Plc, Abubakar Suleiman, has announced seasoned environmentalists as its governing board members.

The board comprises Taiwo Adewole, Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, and Akanbi Williams. They provide support, guidance, and oversight to the continent’s most ambitious clean-up programme seeking to keep beaches clean and fresh on Nigeria’s extensive 853km coastal line, which cuts across nine states.

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Unveiling the committee, Abubakar said: “Their vast experience in recycling, environmental management, and science will hugely benefit our movement of almost 2000 volunteers committed to keeping beaches clean and safe from a leadership perspective.

“And to be clear, we are not just cleaning beaches to feel good. We are protecting marine life, creating jobs in coastal communities, and recycling waste to promote project sustainability. This is about acting as one to better society and I am humbled by the trust this represents. We will not solve all our problems with this gesture but will showcase what happens when the people take centre stage.”

Taiwo is Executive Director at Recycle Points, a waste recycling and social benefit venture based in Lagos. The seasoned environmentalist and waste management consultant holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography and a master’s degree in Environmental Resources Management from Lagos State University.

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He holds membership of professional bodies and associations that include the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM), International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), Nigeria Environmental Society (NES), and Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF).

An experienced administrator and social entrepreneur, Bilikiss is the Director-General, Records and Archives, Lagos State. She founded Wecyclers, the award-winning Lagos-based recycling company that won the King Baudouin International Development Prize for Africa in 2018/2019.

Bilikiss holds an MBA from MIT Sloan, an MSc in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University, and a B.Sc. in Computer Science from Fisk University. She is also a Laureate of the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, an Echoing Green Fellow, a Legatum Fellow, and a Carroll Wilson Fellow.

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Akanbi is a marine mammal observer, benthic ecologist, and fisheries expert. With nine publications and over 45 citations in marine biology under his belt, he brings invaluable experience to the steering committee.

He is a Director of the International Ocean Institute (IOI-Nigeria) and Chief Research Officer at the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research in the Fisheries Resource Department (Marine Biology section). Akande holds a B.Sc. in Zoology and M.Sc. in Marine Biology.

Reputable crowdfunding platform, giving.ng houses the funds raised from Nigerians for the social impact project while other environment-conscious organisations including Rite Foods, Bonnie Bio, and Sterling Bank have pledged support for the timely initiative.

The multi-city beach clean-up project will kick off at Alpha Beach in Lagos on Saturday, 27th March 2021. It will bring together environmental groups, corporations, and volunteers that will rid the Alpha Beach end of the Ibeju-Lekki coastline of trash, making it clean and safe.

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