Wema Bank’s impactful initiatives have provided over 500,000 Nigerians with approximately N109 billion in funding, focusing on women entrepreneurs, sustainable business practices, and climate resilience. Discover how these programs are driving positive change in Nigeria.
Wema Bank, a prominent financial institution in Nigeria, has recently announced a significant achievement in its social initiatives. The bank has successfully distributed approximately 109 billion Nigerian Naira (NGN) in funding to a remarkable number of beneficiaries – over 500,000 Nigerians. This funding comes from the bank’s dedicated efforts in Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) and Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives across the country.
The bank’s statement highlights the substantial impact of its initiatives. A notable part of the funding, amounting to over 58.9 billion NGN, was allocated as uncollateralized loans specifically to women-led Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through the bank’s SARA initiative. This program is part of Wema Bank’s focused approach to empower women entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Additionally, the bank has invested about 50 billion NGN in its Sustainable Finance scheme, which supports various sustainable and environmentally friendly projects.
The transition from traditional CSR to a more comprehensive CSI approach began in 2018. This strategic shift allowed Wema Bank to broaden its socio-economic impact, moving beyond limited CSR activities to a more integrated and impactful CSI policy. This policy is aimed at creating sustainable solutions with a significant societal impact.
Mr. Moruf Oseni, the managing director and CEO of Wema Bank, elaborated on the bank’s social impact initiatives. He explained that these initiatives are structured around five key pillars: Economic Empowerment, Education, Environment, Finance, and Health. According to Mr. Oseni, these efforts have positively affected over 500,000 people across Nigeria, making a substantial difference in various communities.
An innovative aspect of the bank’s social investment is the Green Energy Finance Facility. This initiative is particularly aimed at building climate resilience by financing adaptation measures. The facility enables Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and individuals to reduce carbon emissions by incorporating renewable energy solutions into their business operations. SMEs can access up to 10 million NGN through this facility for renewable energy projects, reflecting the bank’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
In the realm of Sustainable Finance, Wema Bank’s strategy involves a systematic reduction of financed emissions. This is achieved by reducing lending to sectors with high climate risks and instead promoting investments in more sustainable sectors. These sectors include renewable energy, waste management, gender finance, and smart agriculture. So far, the bank has invested about 50 billion NGN in sustainable businesses. Wema Bank also actively promotes sustainable business practices through various channels like the Vendors Environmental & Social Forum, the SME Business School, webinars, and bankwide sustainability training courses.
Furthermore, the bank’s focus on gender equality is evident in its response to the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) report, which highlights a 42 billion USD gender financing gap. The World Economic Forum estimates it could take 136 years to bridge the gender equality gap. In response, Wema Bank’s SARA initiative has launched numerous empowerment programs to promote gender finance and address these disparities.
In summary, Wema Bank’s substantial contribution to societal development through its CSR and CSI initiatives is a remarkable example of a corporate entity positively impacting its community. By focusing on key areas such as women’s empowerment, environmental sustainability, and economic development, the bank demonstrates a strong commitment to creating a more equitable and sustainable future for Nigerians