A’IBOM GOVERNOR’S AIDE HARPS ON FINANCIAL INCLUSION FOR WOMEN

…commends Governor’s Wife on raising the bar for Women in A’Ibom

…as Unity Bank launches Yanga Account in A’Ibom

The Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Entrepreneurial Development, Mrs. MefLyn Anwana has posited that there is need for Women involvement and participation in policy development and economic reforms as well as the need to get equipped to take advantage of equal opportunities in the political, social, economic, cultural and financial framework of the Nigerian polity.

She divulged this during the official unveiling and launching of Unity Bank’s Yanga Account in Akwa Ibom State on Tuesday 7th December, 2021 held at HelemaH Event Centre, Mutual Alliance Estate, Aka Itiam, Uyo. A cross section of participants expressed delight with the new concept, ideology and foresight of the prestigious Unity Bank in introducing and subsequently launching the Yanga Account which is said to engage no fewer than five million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Mrs. Anwana stated that empowering women financially to drive solutions and birth opportunities will not only contribute to the economic growth of the country but will also serve as an entrepreneurial support system for women as catalysts in nation building.

She highlighted the pivotal role played by the wife of the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Her Excellency, Dr. Martha Udom Emmanuel in supporting and promoting the cause of women by continually ensuring women access the 30% inclusion of women in political participation. The result, she noted, abounds in the variant programs conducted via FEYREP for women and the girl child in Akwa Ibom State, not leaving out the number of women who are currently holding sway in sensitive political offices with impactful imprints that will stand the test of time.

She also said that Dr. Martha Emmanuel has contributed immensely in conscientiously driving the cause of women and girls, in the areas of capacity building, political participation and most importantly the fight against gender based violence.

Mrs. Anwana commended Unity Bank
for a consistent show of competence in investment, corporate and retail banking as one of Nigeria’s leading retail banks and for the Yanga product offering to women entrepreneurs.

Recall, Unity Bank officially launched the Yanga Account in Abuja recently where the veteran Nollywood actress Mrs. Sola Sobowale was unveiled to the target market as Brand Ambassador to specifically promote women MSMEs and create a unique proposition for Yanga Account and the brand in the market.

Yanga Account according to the Brand Ambassador, is a complete suite of services designed to promote financial inclusion among women through stress-free savings and investment, access to the services of dedicated sales agents, agency banking services close to the location of their businesses, special business seminar and training on how to grow business, access to micro-loans, customised debit cards and other bundled e-banking products.

The Governor’s aide while commending the initiative, stated that the Industrialization policy of the Governor Udom Emmanuel led administration in Akwa Ibom State has evolved an economic framework that has not just enterprised whole sectors but has also engendered an active business ecosystem with over 20 industries , latent entrepreneurial explorations, and influx of investors with it’s attendant peaceful ambience.

Mrs. Anwana disclosed that the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel has made significant investments in human capital development and capacity building trainings, citing the My Entrepreneurship Goals Programme (MEGP) ,an entrepreneurial development training program targeted at identifying and empowering Akwa Ibom start-ups and existing entrepreneurs through training to define clear goals for their businesses, providing the right network for partnership and educating them on business basics as a platform that has evolved business growth, generated job opportunities and greater yield.

Developing businesses through business skills training, mentoring, Basic business tools, Information Communication Technology, creating innovative scalable businesses, providing access to seed funding, Project Based Assistances and lots more are obtainable via the same MEGP program.

Also speaking, the Bank’s new brand ambassador, King of Boys star, Sola Sobowale invited all Nigerian women who operate businesses in the South West to embrace the incredible opportunities offered by the Yanga account to grow their businesses.

Clearly, there is widespread evidence of the economic and social benefits of women’s financial inclusion; this can create greater economic stability and prosperity for women, their families, and their communities, by building assets, enabling the ability to respond to family needs, and mitigating risk. When a woman has access and control of formal financial products she not only contributes to her own well- being, but also to the well-being of her family. When a woman saves in a safe place, she saves for her children’s education, her family’s health and their better housing – building both security and prosperity. With greater security and prosperity, she gains greater economic empowerment.

Growing evidence from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) research suggests that increasing women’s access to financial services can have both economic and societal benefits. In Kenya for example , women merchants who opened a basic bank account invested more in their businesses.
Female-headed households in Nepal spent more on education after opening a savings account. A recent IMF study shows that a greater inclusion of women as users, providers, and regulators of financial services has broad benefits including narrowing the gender gap, fostering greater stability in the system and enhancing economic growth.

Being financially included can have transformative effects for women. When women actively participate in the financial system, they can better manage risk, smooth consumption in the face of shocks, or fund household expenditures like education. Providing women in the low income bracket with the right financial tools to save and borrow money, make and receive payments, and manage risk is not only important for women’s empowerment, but also for economic growth.

The event featured Chief Janet Amba, SSA to the Governor on SMEs, Mrs. Joyful Uwem Eyo, wife of the former Uyo Assemblyman, Mrs. Mercy Anietie Eka, wife of the member representing Uyo State constituency in the AKHA, and various women groups amongst others.

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