Unity Bank Plc’s capital base has hit N80 billion, up from N31 billion in 2014, Thomas Etuh, former Chairman, Board of Directors, has said.
Mr. Etuh, the immediate past board chairman of the bank, said in a post-retirement interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the growth was recorded under his watch, between 2014 and 2017.
Mr. 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.
“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.
According to Mr. Etuh, “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.
He said: “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.
Mr. Etuh told NAN 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,” he said.