Following the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of Industry (BoI), Unity Bank Plc is set to participate in the execution of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
The scheme, which is one of the social intervention programmes of the Federal Government, provides access to affordable micro credit to Nigerian micro business owners, who hitherto were unable to access loans to grow their businesses.
Under this partnership, Unity Bank will provide account opening services to qualified beneficiaries of GEEP nationwide, and these individual bank accounts will serve as channels for beneficiaries to receive loans disbursed by BoI.
Beneficiaries will also make loan repayments through these bank accounts, while Unity Bank will also provide bank verification number (BVN) registration services for beneficiaries who require such, thereby increasing the financial inclusion in Nigeria.
In a statement from the bank, its participation in the scheme stems from the strategic business objective of supporting Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) to access affordable funds.
The Chief Executive Officer, Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, said the success of the partnership with BoI is a testament to the fact that despite the difficulties of accessing credits by this segment of the market.
She added that the good knowledge and understanding of different players in the market segments and ability to harness inherent opportunities for their benefit has continued to differentiate the bank in line with its strategic business focus on agriculture, retail/SME and rural economy.
For the Managing Director of BoI, Kayode Pitan, the partnership with Unity Bank on GEEP will further enhance access to financial services to qualified beneficiaries and support BOI’s mandate for GEEP loans to reach 1.6 million beneficiaries nationwide.
Through GEEP, MarketMoni loans will be disbursed to qualified Nigerians in key target segments including market women and men, artisans and enterprise youths. The programme is being executed by BoI in partnership with commercial and microfinance banks, and other financial institutions in Nigeria.
As a requirement, an applicant to the GEEP scheme is expected to belong to an accredited market, trade association, or cooperative group, and must possess a valid BVN and have a verifiable business location.