Business Hilights
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Unity Bank grows capital base to N80b from N31bn in 2014

Unity Bank Plc has raised its capital base from N31 billion in 2014, to a comfortable level of N80 billion.

This was revealed by former Chairman of Board of Directors, Mr. Thomas Etuh, in an interview in Abuja.

Etuh who retired as the bank’s board chairman a fortnight ago, explained that the bank was able to achieve the feat because of its “agric business” banking.

Business Hilights recalls that the bank was among the best performing banks in the ongoing Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), which is currently the lead platform for driving agro-enterprises now championing the observed jump in the nation’s agricultural sector.

Last month, it was revealed that Unity bank had disbursed well over N24 billion on behalf of the apex bank to accredited benefiting farmers across the country.

Explaining more, Etuh averred that “You know Unity Bank is number one in agriculture, in terms of agric lending to small holder farmers; we also have a product for youths because youths own this generation.

“I came into Unity Bank in time of recapitalisation under Mohammed Sanusi as the CBN Governor and we recapitalised the bank to get it to a national bank where it is today.

“Interestingly, we are leaving the bank in the capital excess of N80 billion from the N31 billion that we met it,” Etuh said.

Etuh further argued that “the successes recorded by the bank did not come without the contributions of its two major co-shareholders, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and ex-military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida”.

“Obasanjo and Babangida came up with that name `Unity’ after the merger of some Southern and Northern banks.

“The merger means a lot for Nigeria’s unity. So, having nine banks from different entities, it behoves on the board to also merge the different banks culture into one; and that, we did to make it a national bank.

“You can see that the bank has flourished in various products which have brought it to stability, and I won’t say it was achieved singlehandedly; it was a collective effort of the board and management.

The former Unity Bank board chairman named the merged banks to include Bank of the North, Tropical Commercial Bank, Intercity Bank, African Merchant Bank, First Interstate Bank, New Nigerian Bank and Societe General Bank.

Etuh said that he retired from the bank to focus on agriculture.

“I retired to start something new in developing the frontier of the agric sector which has always been my first love.

“I have given a notice since last year that I will be retiring as the bank’s board chairman after I have spent some years.

“I am leaving the board of the bank, but am a co-shareholder, so, it means that I am still in Unity Bank. I am retired but not tired,” the former board chairman noted.