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Unity Bank seals MoU to grow GEEP initiative

The Chief Executive Officer of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, has said the successful signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of Industry (BoI), has opened way for the bank to drive Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).

The scheme is one of the social intervention programmes of the Federal Government, which is structured to provide seamless access to affordable micro credit to Nigerian micro business owners.

Explaining more, she added that “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”.

By design, 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.

Unity Bank in a statement said its participation in the scheme stems from the strategic business objective of supporting Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) to access affordable funds.

Mrs. Somefun was quoted as saying that 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.

According to her, “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”.

Responding, the Managing Director of BoI, Kayode Pitan, averred that 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.

Key requirements for participation in GEEP programme include belonging to an accredited market, trade association, or cooperative group, and must possess a valid BVN and have a verifiable business location.