Unity Bank Plc has won the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 2018 sustainable banking award, clenching the award for ‘Sustainable Transaction of the Year in Agriculture’.
The Bank won the coveted award for its compliance with the Sustainable Banking Principles as it relates to the management of Environmental and Social Risk set out by the CBN for adoption by Nigerian Banks, Discount Houses and Development Banks.
While presenting the award to Unity Bank at the just concluded Bankers’ Committee held in Lagos, the apex bank commended the efforts of the lender in promoting the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) project, adding that the bank deserves the award because of the role it played in actualization and management of this audacious project.
The active involvement of the Bank in various financing schemes has resulted in creating huge social and economic impact on the income of households involving over 270,000 participating small holder farmers thereby boosting not only the gross domestic product but also helping to achieve self-sufficiency in food production.
Commenting on the development, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun dedicated the award to all farmers and businesses in agriculture value chain, stressing that: “We have successfully on-boarded over 90,000 hitherto financially excluded farmers and generated bank verification number for them to facilitate financial and banking transaction. Capacities of about 60 agro input suppliers were expanded through provision of facilities and financial advisory services’’.
“Unity Bank’s Environmental and social Management Programme covers comprehensive business operations that minimises adverse impact on the environment in the scope of its business activities.”
“The Code of Corporate Governance requires companies to act in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and Unity Bank has domesticated the principles in its commitment to save the environment from degradation or pollution.”
Speaking further, Somefun disclosed that the Bank’s environmental management policies and strategies comprehensively covers priority areas that encourages bio-diversity, green initiatives, recycling of waste, reduction of carbon emission geared towards promoting sustainability, conservation and environmental protection.
Unity Bank Plc is a niche player in agricultural financing in Nigeria, with active participation in most government intervention schemes and support for key policy initiatives. These are aimed at driving growth and transformation of Nigeria’s Agricultural economy.