Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer United Bank for Africa PLC, Mr Oliver Alawuba, has said that the planned banking recapitalisation Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria will lead to the emergence of stronger and more resilient financial institutions that can help the Federal Government achieve its proposed $1 trillion economy.

He expressed optimism that the impact of fuel subsidy removal and harmonisation of exchange rates would soon normalise across the country.

Alawuba who hinted that UBA was already engaging with financial advisors on the best way forward for the bank’s compliance on the project said the option to be adopted would depend on the outcome of the ongoing consultations with its advisors given that the bank currently operates an international banking license.

He said “Innovation and digital transformation are at the heart of UBA’s strategy for future growth and competitiveness.

We will continue to invest in innovative products, services, and digital platforms that enhance customer experience and drive operational efficiency.”

He further stated that primary focus for organisation was to be the payment bank for Capital flows, trade and investments between Africa and the rest of the world committed to expanding our presence, seizing growth opportunities, and delivering value to all stakeholders.

The UBA boss cited the bank’s collaboration and partnerships as exemplified by the $6billion SME funding agreement signed with the African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as part of strategies for achieving objectives of impacting businesses across the continent.

“We are dedicated to deepening relationships with customers, employees, regulators, and other stakeholders for mutual benefit and long-term success.” He stated

According to him, UBA which commenced operations in 1949, had set out to be a role model in payment and financial intermediation on the African continent.

At a global press conference to mark the 75th anniversary of the bank in Lagos, Alawuba said UBA’s commitment to economic and infrastructure development of the African continent has been the enabler and driving force powering its investments in critical sectors of the economies of over 23 countries in Africa where it is currently operating.

He said “ We have supported various governments in Africa to develop their mining, agriculture, revenue generation and sports industries.

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We are providing such support because we want to remain the role model for Africa businesses through partnering governments to expand trading frontiers within the continent and ensure that Africa transacts more within than it does with the rest of the world.”

Alawuba said it was against this backdrop that the management of the bank had resolved to ensure that at the least one member of every family in Africa should be supported to have a UBA account, thereby reinforcing its policy of financial inclusivity in all its subsidiaries in Africa.

Giving a breakdown of UBA’s achievements over the last 75 years, the GMD said it was the first bank to introduce digital banking platforms in all 23 countries in Africa where it operates.

He said “ UBA was the first bank to do an initial public offering and got listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1978 and the only African bank to receive a deposit taking license in the United States of America and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

We were also the first bank to install Automated Teller Machines in Nigeria and the first to open a campus branch at the university of Lagos.

We were the first bank to launch the Chatbot called Leo.

According to him, the bank in the past 75 years transformed into a trusted financial partner for businesses in Africa, beacon of stability and resilience for customers and a catalyst for African development supporting various countries to finance road construction, power infrastructure, digitalisation of revenue collections and sport development “

Looking ahead, he said UBA was targeting to be the payment bank to facilitate trade across Africa.

On the proposed banking recapitalisation set the Central Bank of Nigeria, Alawuba said UBA which currently sits on an N18trillion deposit base, has financial advisers to develop strategies for complying with the new mandate set by the apex bank.

He commended the innovative leadership role of the bank’s chairman Mr Tony Elumelu in driving the bank to where it is today.


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