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Five million S/West MSMEs get lift as Unity launches Yanga in Ibadan

By Guardian Nigeria
06 December 2021   |   2:47 am
Nigerian Retail Lender, Unity Bank Plc, is set to engage at least five million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) operated by females in the South West region.

Group Head, Retail, SME Banking and E-Business, Unity Bank, Funwa Akinmade (left); Wife of Alaafin of Oyo, Olori Rukayat Abiodun Adeyemi; Unity Bank Brand Ambassador and actress, Sola Sobowale; Wife of Alaafin of Oyo, Olori Mariam Opeyemi Adeyemi; Zonal Head, Lagos-South West, Unity Bank, Wale Ogunrinde and Head, Corporate Planning and Strategy, Unity Bank, Ibukun Coker during the official launch of ‘Yanga’ Account by the bank in Ibadan.

Nigerian Retail Lender, Unity Bank Plc, is set to engage at least five million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) operated by females in the South West region. This comes as the Brand Ambassador of the bank’s ‘Yanga’ Account, Sola Sobowale, asserted that no woman would be left behind as the bank launched the scheme in Ibadan, Oyo State.

Unity Bank officially launched the ‘Yanga’ Account in Abuja recently where the veteran Nollywood actress was unveiled as brand ambassador to promote women MSMEs and create a unique proposition for Yanga account.

‘Yanga’ Account is a complete suite of services designed to promote financial inclusion among women through stress-free savings and investment, access to the services of dedicated sales agents, agency banking services close to the location of their businesses, special business seminar and training on how to grow businesses, access to microloans, customized debit cards and other bundled e-banking products.

As part of the efforts to connect directly with the target market, the star actress who is now known as ‘Mama Yanga’ undertook a market tour to interact with the women and gain first-hand knowledge of how the product is being received in the market.

Speaking at the event in Ibadan on Tuesday, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Unity Bank Plc, Tomi Somefun said “Yanga Account heralds a new dawn for my fellow women operating businesses in South West Nigeria.

She said the account was open to all market women in farming, fashion design, tailoring, frozen food, pastry and baking, cosmetics, jewelry designs and making, skincare, eateries and restaurants.”

She reiterated that “the Yanga Account is conceived and designed for the financial literacy and empowerment of Nigerian women. It is about making sure that our women who make up 55% of the financially excluded Nigerians have access to basic and life-changing financial services”.

Also speaking, the Bank’s new brand ambassador, King of Boys star, Sola Sobowale invited all Nigerian women who operate businesses in the South West to embrace the incredible opportunities offered by the Yanga account to grow their businesses.

She said: “This is the first time that a Bank will specifically design a product to cater to women and I am excited about the inherent benefits of this account and the endless possibilities that it brings to my fellow women. I invite all my fellow women in South-West Nigeria to sign up for the Yanga Account and watch their levels change.”

On his part, Group Head, Retail, SME Banking and E-Business, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Funwa Akinmade said: “Female-led MSMEs in South West Nigeria continue to play pivotal roles in the contribution of the MSMEs to the economy of Nigeria and that has informed this special activation of Yanga account in Ibadan today.

“The Yanga account is a well-packaged banking product that combines several services that most small businesses owned by women will need to become profitable. We are optimistic that Ibadan women and all others across South West Nigeria will embrace the Yanga Account and leverage its full benefits to grow their businesses.”

With the launch of the Yanga account, Unity Bank said it underscores its retail strategy which continually aligns with the vision of the Central Bank of Nigerian and the financial services ecosystem to provide needed support for Nigerian women by enhancing access to wealth-creating opportunities in the financial services sector.

Industry watchers believe the retail product has the potential to aggressively deepen financial inclusion, which recent research by Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) has shown, “can benefit individuals, families, and businesses, supporting key outcomes such as GDP growth”.

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