Six months after commencing full commercial banking operations, Premium Bank, formerly City Investment Company (CIC), has braved the odds to venture into waste management.
The bank through its Help-Station has supported, Tidy-Up Ghana towards changing the face of waste management in the country.
Tidy-Up Ghana is a waste management company using state of the art technology (German made waste compaction and recycling machines) in managing waste - a paradigm shift from the conventional approach.
The Help Station is also a business support and entrepreneurship development initiative of Premium Bank which has over the last twenty (20) years focussed on providing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with not only financial assistance but more importantly capacity-building.
The initiative is aimed at ensuring the growth, resilience and competitiveness of 10,000 SMEs and Entrepreneurs in Ghana. Tidy-up is the latest beneficiary which has received support in establishing a waste transfer station at Mallam, Accra with an investment of about 2.5 million Ghana cedis in equipment with processing capacity of up to 30 tonnes of waste at a go.
Speaking at the launch, the Managing Director of Premium Bank, Kwasi Tumi explained how it all started with Tidy-Up and the difference the Help-Station has made in its operations.
“Our paths crossed with Tidy-up Ghana Limited less than ten (10) months ago when no Bank or financial institution they had approached, was willing to take a chance on them as they could neither provide the conventional financial statements nor collateral.
However, we saw a potential in the business, and leveraging on our experience and expertise, offered what in our opinion was the support needed through our business delivery channel, The Help-Station, and the end result is what has brought us here together today” he noted.
The Business Development Minister, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, also entreated start-ups and existing SMEs to take full advantage of the benefits of the Help-Station.
“Premium Bank’s Help-Station understands this and has positioned itself to provide businesses in Ghana with an unparalleled support service aimed at ensuring the growth, credit worthiness and investment attraction of the businesses. Premium Bank is gradually becoming a vibrant player in the private sector; a bank that is expected to do great things for SMEs in the months to come” he said.
Many financial institutions find waste management too risky a business to invest in because of the uncertainty and relatively long turn around-time for making profits. Mr. Tumi says Premium Bank is however poised to reverse this trend with its Help-Station to the benefit of the economy at large.
“Others see waste, we see raw materials; they see Tidy Up Limited as a business unit, we see a potential conglomerate; and as an entity contributing its quota to solving the sanitation problem, we all complain about.
To the Help Station, these materials which others see as waste, constitutes a solid raw material base for value addition to create products in the agricultural and energy sectors. The Help Station stands ready to continue to offer the needed support to Tidy Up Limited in this regard as it explores opportunities in value addition” he said.
In his address, the Chief Executive of Tidy-Up Ghana, Steven Kofi Ampofo also stressed the company’s plans to change the face of waste management in the country. According to him, waste management companies have become waste collection companies instead of converting useful resources in our solid waste stream into valuable products.
“Tidy-Up is here to change the status quo by turning this enclave into a waste industrial park. We would recycle papers, cardboards, plastics, Styrofoam and convert PET bottles into flakes and mould them back into bottles.
We would also recycle glass and use it for sand paper. With the right mindset on solid waste, incomes can be generated from recovery of useful items while protecting the environment at the same time.
Plastic waste is turned into fuel in the Philippines while Singapore has created an Island from its waste, attracting tourist to the country” he expatiated.
Tidy-Up Ghana is responsible for the waste collection at Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority’s facility and residences in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis.
It is also in-charge of the servicing and maintenance of the only Runway Sweeper operating at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra - Ghana.
The waste management company is also operating in Nigeria where it has installed two Mobile Pack Bin (MPB) waste compactors with loading buckets at the prestigious Lagos Polo Club in Ikoyi - Lagos.