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UBA CEO reveals bank well-positioned to meet Africa’s banking needs

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UBA New Executives at NGX 2: l-r: Deputy Managing Director, United Bank for Africa(UBA) Plc, Mr. Muyiwa Akinyemi; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Ltd , Mr. Temi Popoola and Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa(UBA) Plc, Mr Oliver Alawuba; and Director, Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Ltd , Erelu Angela Adebayo, during the ceremonial strike of the closing gong at the floor of the Exchange by Alawuba in honour of recently appointed UBA’s executive management, on Wednesday in Lagos

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Oliver Alawuba, has said that the bank’s consistent investment in strengthening its digital channels have been paying off as UBA is well-positioned to meet the growing demand of its customers across Africa and beyond.

Alawuba said this during the visit of the bank’s new Executives to the Nigerian Exchange Limited’s Head Office in Lagos on Wednesday. This follows the release of its Half-year 2022 financial results to the investing public last week.

Speaking on UBA’s driving factor over the past few years, he said, “We have invested so much in digital banking. We have great digital banking capabilities and we also have a growing customer base. Today we have over 30 million customers across various platforms and these customers are transacting. 90% of our transactions are done digitally and we are looking at 95% shortly. This has been helping us to ensure that we manage our cost of operations and to deliver excellent customer service to our customers overtime.”

He explained that the bank’s foray into the larger African market 17 years ago continues to yield largely for the institution, as presently, activities in the Africa market account for over 50% of the banks’ profitability, with room for even more opportunities going forward.

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UBA New Executives at NGX 4: l-r: Group Company Secretary, UBA, Mr. Bili Odum; Executive Director Finance and Risk Management, UBA, Mr Ugo Nwaghodoh; Divisional Head(DH), Business Support Services, Nigerian Exchange Limited, Mrs Irene Robinson-Ayanwale; Deputy Managing Director, United Bank for Africa(UBA) Plc, Mr. Muyiwa Akinyemi; Director, Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Ltd , Erelu Angela Adebayo; Chief Executive Officer, NGX, Mr. Temi Popoola and Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa(UBA) Plc, Oliver Alawuba; Executive Director, North Bank, UBA, Ms Emem Usoro and DH, Capital Markets, NGX; and Executive Director/GCOO, UBA, Mr Alex Alozie, during the ceremonial strike of the closing gong at the floor of the Exchange by Alawuba in honour of recently appointed UBA’s executive management, on Wednesday in Lagos

On plans and strategy for the remaining half of the year, Alawuba said, “As it stands, UBA can lead in Nigeria and in Africa, and we the new management are here to ensure that UBA takes the leadership position in every country we operate in. We will continue to focus on the customer. We are committed to our Customer 1st philosophy. The customer determines what we do at every point in time and we will ensure that we do all it takes to satisfy them optimally.”

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He also informed the Stock Exchange of UBA’s willingness to partner with the NGX to achieve its goals of unifying Africa, adding that “We are United Bank for Africa, Africa’s global bank and I believe that we can do a lot together especially with our common interest in Africa. The other African countries look to Nigeria to play a significant role and for us at UBA, our vision and mission is intertwined with Africa. And so as a bank, We can do a lot together with the NGX in the area of making sure that millennials and GenZ can key into the opportunities we have. we have digital banking platforms that we can make use of and we believe that in the next two to three years, there will be a lot of value that we will create for our shareholders and we know that this message will get to the trading floor and our shareholders to make them know that UBA is repositioning to help achieve their goals.“

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While welcoming the newly appointed executives to the Exchange, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Exchange Limited, Temi Popoola, commended the UBA Board, led by its Chairman, Tony O. Elumelu, for what he described as a well-thought out succession plan, which he noted was worthy of being emulated by other companies.

Popoola said, “For us at the Exchange, succession is very critical. UBA is very thoughtful and methodological about succession and we find this really encouraging. I want to congratulate you. Your track record in Nigeria and the rest of Africa speaks for itself and we are very confident that the UBA is well positioned to get on to its next phase.

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“We commend UBA for the work you do around sustainability. It is seen that for both investors and the entire capital market committee, the subject of sustainability and ESG has become more common and UBA has historically taken a lead on these issues,” Popoola continued.

UBA recently announced its audited financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2022, recording double-digit growth across key income lines. The Bank delivered a 12.6 per cent appreciation in profit before tax(PBT) to N85.7bn, up from N76.2bn recorded in the same period of 2021.

UBA is a leading pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than thirty-seven million customers across 1,000 business offices and customer touch points in 20 African countries.

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With presence in New York, London and Paris and now the UAE, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.

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Elumelu says strong insurance sector foundation for strong Nigeria

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Tony Elumelu, CON, Chairman, Heirs Holdings and United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), giving a keynote address at the recent 60th anniversary of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) conference, underlined the importance of a vibrant, well capitalised and deep insurance sector to Nigeria’s economy.

“Not least in these testing times, our people need financial security, secure savings and protection against uncertainty. Our industry needs to offer simple, smart products, that give value and deliver. We need an industry that is professional and can catalyse investment in key sectors such as power, infrastructure and housing”.

Elumelu congratulated the NCRIB on its anniversary and the role it has played, joining other prominent guests including Commissioner for Insurance and the President of NCRIB. But he stated there was no room for complacency, with the sector needing to regain trust, stamp down on malpractice and fundamentally evolve its customer proposition to deepen the insurance penetration.

He emphasised the commitment of Heirs Holdings to the insurance industry.

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He said: “Our two insurance companies, Heirs Life Assurance and Heirs Insurance Limited, are both leading democratisation of access to insurance – which is a tool for financial inclusion, employment creation, poverty eradication and female advancement. In a country of two hundred million, we can, should and must be more relevant than we are today. I am an optimist, not a pessimist. I know that times are tough, but together we can, and we will transform our industry, create value, and provide solutions that demonstrate the value of insurance to our people.”

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Reiterating Elumelu’s stance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, Commission for Insurance called for more collaboration and effort in enabling access to insurance, stating that the industry could do more in this prospect.

He said: “It is a fundamental truth that the insurance sector exists for other sectors to thrive. A lot has been achieved, but there is still more work to be done. Until insurance becomes the oxygen that homes and other industries breathe, and a subject that is known to everyone, we have not arrived”.

The President, NCRIB, Barrister Rotimi Edu, appreciated Elumelu for delivering the keynote speech at the event, while making a commitment on behalf of the Council to further deepen insurance penetration in Nigeria.

He said: “The Council is already creating avenues through strategic engagements with notable governmental and non-governmental institutions to deepen the industry in the country”.

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Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life are lead sponsors of the NCRIB 60th Anniversary, alongside investment group United Capital Plc and healthcare management company, Avon HMO, all investee companies of Heirs Holdings, a pan-African investment group, with a portfolio spread across 24 African countries and four continents.

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150 Years: FrieslandCampina Pays Tribute to Member Dairy Farmers

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To mark the end of its 150th anniversary year, FrieslandCampina presents its new short film, A New Day. The film pays tribute to the many generations of dairy farmers who have made FrieslandCampina what it is today; a dynamic, forward-looking dairy cooperative and a global company.

‘A New Day’ tells the story of the next generation of farmers, focused on the future of dairy farming with lots of passion and determination, while adapting to the rapidly changing world.

According to Hein Schumacher, CEO FrieslandCampina: “We are very proud of our farmers and our cooperative heritage. For over 150 years, our member farmers have always managed to adapt to what the market and society demand from them. By actively responding to evolving needs and constantly innovating, they have developed themselves into very innovative farmers.

“I have great admiration for the next generation of farmers, especially in these tense and uncertain times. They are building the future of sustainable dairy farming, with the same commitment and unwavering spirit as the many generations before them. This film is our tribute to all dairy farmers, young and old,” Schumacher said.

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Also commenting, Ben Langat, Managing Director, FrieslandCampina Sub-Saharan Africa said, “The story of our cooperative is a special one. ‘A New Day’ celebrates our farmers who are playing that critical role in bringing better nutrition to the tables of families across Sub-Saharan Africa. FrieslandCampina Sub-Saharan Africa salutes our farm heroes and remains steadfast in our commitment and support to the development and prosperity of our local dairy farmers.”

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The four-minute film tells the story of three young dairy farmers who are on a journey, sometimes literally, as they face dilemmas, make choices and emerge stronger, ready for a new day. The film shows the challenges they are facing in this rapidly changing world. ‘A New Day’ is the sequel to ‘The Story of Milk, produced in 2012, also by corporate cinema agency 1Camera.

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Watch it below.

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Asia’s richest man sees growing isolation for China

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Indian billionaire Gautam Adani says that China “will feel increasingly isolated” and the “foremost champion of globalization” would find it hard to bounce back from a period of economic weakness.

Speaking at a conference in Singapore on Tuesday, Adani said “increasing nationalism, supply chain risk mitigation, and technology restrictions,” as well as resistance to Beijing’s huge Belt and Road initiative, would impact China’s global role.

Asia’s richest man said that “housing and credit risks” in the world’s second largest economy were also “drawing comparisons with what happened to the Japanese economy during the ‘lost decade’ of the 1990s.”

Adani was speaking less than a month after the business mogul became the world’s third richest man, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is the first Asian to take that spot.

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The founder of the eponymous Adani Group controls companies ranging from ports to power.

While pessimistic about China, Adani remains bullish about his own country, saying that India is “one of the few relatively bright spots from a political, geostrategic, and market perspective.”

He anticipates India to become the world’s third largest economy by 2030, with “the largest consuming middle class the world will ever see.”

Some technology firms looking to reduce their dependence on Chinese manufacturing already see India as an attractive alternative.

On Monday, Apple announced that it has started making its new iPhone 14 in India, as the technology giant looks to diversify its supply chain. While the company manufactures the bulk of its products in China, it has decided to start producing its latest devices in India much earlier than with previous generations.

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Businesses may have to move away from China not just because of its strict Covid restrictions, which have been hurting supply chains for months now, but also because of rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan.

The US government ordered two of America’s top chipmakers to stop selling high-performance chips to China earlier this month. And, last week, leaders of America’s biggest banks said they could exit China if it ever attacks Taiwan.

Adani also mentioned the challenges facing the United Kingdom, and countries in the European Union, because of the war in Ukraine and Brexit.

“While I expect all these economies will readjust over time — and bounce back — the friction of the bounce-back looks far harder this time,” he said.

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