First Lady Margaret Kenyatta launches massive NBK forestation initiative in Northern Kenya

In one of the fastest rates of growth, bank has set up 25 branches since 2013 and is amassing a forest of 100,000 trees with each of the branched it is setting up

Soybean plant showing a remarkable difference in growth and vigour between those that are are innoculated and not innoculated

Soybean plant showing a remarkable difference in growth and vigour between those that are are innoculated and not innoculated

Nairobi Kenya, 12th November, 2015: Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has lauded the National Bank (NBK-NSE) – Kenya’s fastest growing listed bank- for “contributing a great environmental impact” under the bank’s massive forestation and town greening programme.

Speaking in Mandera where she officially launched the bank’s Northern Kenya greening initiative, Mrs Kenyatta expressed her surprise and delight at the bank’s achievement, with over 2.5 million trees planted around the country. The bank’s effort, the First Lady said, is going a long way to mitigate effects of climate change. Kenya’s forest cover had reduced to 1.7% by 2002 following a period of environmental degradation and has been gradually improving, reaching 6% in 2012.

“It is such efforts as this one by NBK that are helping the government move closer to the 10% forest cover goal recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

“I am indeed proud to unveil in Mandera two developments courtesy of the National Bank of Kenya: their tree planting programme in Northern Kenya, and the Mandera National Amanah branch (the Islamic banking division of National Bank of Kenya) which will increase access to banking services for Kenyans in this region,” said Mrs. Kenyatta.

NBK’s Kenya@50 tree planting programme has been amassing a forest of 100,000 trees with every branch it launches since the new management took over in 2013. During the two and half years, National bank added 25 new brick and mortar branches, one of the fastest growth rates in the industry.
NBK’s Managing Director and CEO, Munir Sheikh Ahmed said: “We are committed to ensuring that the change happening inside National Bank under our transformation plan is embodied in the environment around us through the tree planting cause. We are alive to the higher calling of National Bank as a bank that carries a lot of Kenyans aspirations,” he said.

A homegrown lender founded 5 years after Kenya’s independence, National Bank of Kenya, is widely associated with Kenyans pride and self determination.
Launch of the Mandera branch, NBK 80th branch, comes at a time when the bank is reaping a dividend from a phase of massive technology investment, streamlining operations and adoption of the universal bank model which has resulted in increased profitability. With the bank set to announce its third quarter 2015 results this month, Its half year 2015 profits were at Ksh. 2.5Billion compared to 2.43Billion shilling for the full year 2014 and 1.8Billion shilling in full year 2013.
NBK Chairman Abdirahman Hassan has thanked Mrs Kenyatta for inspiring and supporting the tree planting initiative noting that her visit to Mandera had brought benefits to the region.
“The First lady continues to inspire us to do what we can where we are to better our nation,” he said. Mandera is Kenya’s most Northern town and borders both Ethiopia and Somalia.
National Bank has joined hands with the Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Scouts Movement and schools across Kenya to make the initiative a success and all trees planted are nurtured through these partnerships. In Northern Kenya which is classified as an arid and semi arid region, the bank has made plans for irrigation and is expected to plant more trees to combat desertification.

About National Bank
National Bank is a fully fledged Commercial Bank listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and established in 1968 to provide Kenyans access to finance. It has since grown to be one of the largest commercial banks in the country with staff of 1,531, a growing network of 79 branch outlets across the country, 131 ATMs and electronic channels of Mobile and Internet Banking. National Bank participates in Corporate Banking, Business Banking, Retail Banking and Islamic Banking with an extensive portfolio of products and financial solutions tailored for the requirements of a broad spectrum of customer segments it serves.