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Unity Bank to scale up SME, agric contributions

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AgricultureShops for replacement as MD resigns

Unity Bank Plc said the resignation of its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Henry James Semenitari, may have opened up new opportunities for it to review and scale up its economic contributions to the country.

According to the lender, it would now review its contributions in relation to small businesses and rural development, as well as its agriculture segments.

Already, the bank has employed the services of audit and consulting firm- Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), to improve processes and strategies in the banks Small and Medium Enterprises, agriculture and rural development sectors.

Unity Bank had won the “Best Bank in Agriculture Financing” at the 2014 BusinessDay yearly banking awards as it was adjudged consistent in support of agriculture financing.

It had also developed wide range of agricultural products for both small scale and large scale farmers, collectively known as Unity Greens, which cover general agro-allied financing, industrial, as well as cooperative leasing, among others.

Meanwhile, the resignation, which leaves the office vacant with no immediate successor as at press time, according to a source from the bank, has sent the board of the lender to search for replacement.

According to the source “someone from within who meets all the regulatory requirements is being sought now. The board made a pre-emptive move based on the future direction of the company after a successful stint as MD by Semenitari, with strong support of the board and executive management.”

It noted that the resignation is also coming after a successful recapitalisation and re-branding exercise that evolved the bank into a profitable and customer-focused financial services company.

The bank chief is noted for a consistent banking experience in operations, internal control, branch management, credit and marketing, commercial and retail banking, consumer, corporate banking (energy), acquired in Zenith, Diamond, United Bank for Africa, First City Monument Bank in over 24 years banking career.

With an average professional banking experience of 24 years each, led by Thomas Etuh (Chairman), the Unity Bank board has a combined 120 years of experience with highly talented leadership to drive growth.

The 2014 yearly report of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation had included the bank in its clean bill of health for the industry.

Unity Bank, in its half year result, showed that fee and commission income had increased by 23 per cent to N4.66 billion to offset the dip in interest income from the earlier period.

Total assets increased by four percent to N429.6 billion, while cash and cash equivalents stood at 23.46 billion as at June 30, 2015 with 256 business offices and cash centres across the country.


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