Access Bank Plc said it has extended an N11 billion loan facility to women and women-managed businesses, under its ‘W’ initiative, in the last one year of commencement.
The Executive Director, Personal Banking, Access Bank, Victor Etuokwu, who made the disclosure, said the initiative was a deliberate attempt by the institution to carter to the needs of women, especially the more enterprising ones, whom the average disposition of normal banking operations ruled out.
Besides, the bank has unfolded plans to float local currency instrument that is expected to attract strong investors’ participation.
“In 2014, we approached the United States market to raise a bond, which was a success and we floated a rights issue recently. The rights issue is completed, with the shares listed. The N41.7 billion approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria was generated from the local investors and that shows the level of confidence the local investors has in the bank.
“We will float local currency instrument. The instrument would be interesting because of the structure it would take and it would be first of its kind in local market. It would be an attraction for several investors,” the Executive Director, Commercial Banking, Roosevelt Ogbonna, told journalists in Lagos, on Wednesday.
Etuokwu noted that the scheme has attracted over 1.5 million women into its customer base, with the scheme now being extended to Ghana, Zambia and Rwanda.
For the next one year, the bank director said the focus of the scheme in Nigeria would shift from Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, to several cities across the country, in an effort to deepen the benefits.
The initiative, he said, is about mentoring, through pairing and matching of successful women with respective mentees, including the financing of procedures in hospital under the Neo-natal Support and lifestyle.
Already, the bank has instituted an awards series for the women, with a dedicated website for nominations- www.wawards.com, to recognise and reward exceptional women, who have defied the odds and become successful through achievements that impacted the society.
The maiden edition is slated for December this year in four awards categories and will also feature the launch of a book titled “The Power of 100”, which is about the biography of 100 women who have done remarkable things in the development of the country.
Source: Guardian News