Unity Bank Targets Women in Financial Inclusion Drive


James Emejo

Nigeria’s retail lender, Unity Bank Plc has launched the Yanga Account, a new retail product designed to deepen beneficial impact on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs operated by women in the mass-market retail space.

The move demonstrates its increased commitment towards promoting financial inclusion and women empowerment.

Speaking at the product launch in Abuja, Managing Director/Chief Executive of the bank, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, said: “Yanga Account is being launched as a bold attempt to directly cater to women and their respective businesses.”

She pointed out that the account, “is open to all market women in farming, fashion design, tailoring, frozen food, pastry and baking, cosmetics, jewellery designs and making, skincare, eateries and restaurants, etc. whether living in the communities or cities.”

As a product targeted to boost the Nigerian women entrepreneurs, the initiative was intended to create Yanga Experience, from promoting the business, capacity building to health insurance scheme for Yanga Account holders.

The bank in a statement added that the benefits for signing up to the account are summed up as, ‘The Yanga Experience.’

Some fun said, “This means that as we target every woman in the mass-market retail space, the Yanga account holders will enjoy many benefits including stress-free savings and investment, access to the services of dedicated sales agents, agency vanking services close to the location of their businesses, special business seminar and training on how to grow business, access to microloans, customised debit cards and other bundled e-banking products.”

She added,“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.”

Recent research by Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) had shown that “Women need economic opportunities if countries are to realize the full potential of their human capital. Financial inclusion can benefit individuals, families, and businesses, supporting key outcomes such as GDP growth”.

She said, “The Yanga account will also be incorporating an affordable Health insurance scheme not only as a part of the product bouquet underpinning the Bank’s belief in health and wellness which translate to wealth creation but also to drive insurance penetration which is presently at 2 per cent in Nigeria.

“We, therefore, believe that this will provide essential ingredients to growing a business as well as adding greater value for Yanga account holders.

“At Unity Bank, through products like Yanga Account, we continue to align 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”.

Also, Group Head, Retail, SME Banking and E-Business, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Funwa Akinmade said the official launch of the Yanga Account was an extremely important step for the bank as it brings services closer to Nigerian women as the financial institution makes the efforts to further expand its retail footprints in the market.