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UBA Records Strong Double Digit Growth, Declares N0.20k Interim Dividend

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Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has announced its audited financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2022, recording double-digit growth across key income lines as well as significant progress in the contribution from its subsidiaries.

At the end of the first two quarters of the year, the Bank was able to deliver 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.

Despite numerous business, economic as well as geo-political environmental challenges including continued supply-chain interruptions due to Covid, the Russia and Ukraine conflict, and the resultant rise in prices of global commodities, that characterized the first six months of the year, the tier1 lender delivered impressive numbers, with gross earnings hitting N372.4bn, a solid 17.8 percent growth when compared with N316billion that was posted the same period in the prior year.

Operating income also grew by 20.1% to N256bn in the period, while the firm’s profit after tax closed the first half stronger at N70.3 billion, up by 16.1 percent compared to the N60.6 billion same period in 2021.

A further breakdown of the Bank’s half-year result, which was filed with the Nigerian Exchange Group(NGX), in the early hours on Thursday, September 8, showed total assets continued on an upward trajectory, increasing 5.4 percent to about N9 trillion.

The bank also delivered on its core mandate of extending loans to credit-worthy customers for the overall economic development, as loans and advances increased by 4 percent to N3trillion; while deposits rose by 7.9 percent to N7.6 trillion at the end of the period.

Shareholders’ funds however declined marginally by 2 percent to N788.5 billion, owing majorly to the decline in its foreign operations translation reserve as well as fair value losses suffered from the investment securities valuation occasioned by the increasing interest rate regime across the globe.

With the strong double-digit growth in profit after tax (PAT) vis-à-vis the marginal decline in shareholder’s fund, the Group’s return on equity (RoE) closed the period stronger at 17.7%, whilst return on assets (RoA) came to 1.6%, up by 9 basis points.

Reaffirming its commitment to shareholders and the investing public, the Board of Directors of UBA Plc declared an interim dividend of 20kobo per share for every ordinary share of N0.50 each held by its shareholders.

UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, while commenting on the result, said the stellar performance was in line with management’s expectation, adding that the Bank’s continued focus on its Customer 1st philosophy to pursue the mission of providing superior value to our stakeholders had increased low-cost customer deposits, and boosted the growth of its payment and transaction banking.

“The financial year 2022 showed initial signs of recovery of economies across the globe, despite continued COVID-induced supply-chain disruptions. However, geopolitical challenges including the Russia and Ukraine conflict, resulted in escalation of global commodity prices, particularly grains and crude oil, which have taken a toll on several economies. Notwithstanding these developments, our half-year numbers came out stronger than the prior year, with top and bottom-line reaching new record highs,” Alawuba said.

According to him, The Group’s profitability increased by 12.6% to N85.7 billion, with double-digit growth recorded across key income line. The Bank also recorded a decent 20% growth in net interest income as it continues to moderate cost of funds whilst improving yield on assets, thereby contributing to the strong 20% growth in operating income. “Our investments in state-of-the-art technology continue to yield expected results, evident in the huge boost of our digital banking income, which grew 22.7% year-on-year to N36.3 billion. These gains have enabled us to optimize net earnings amid the accelerating inflationary pressure, the currency devaluation, and increased regulatory-driven cost,” he said.

The GMD also noted that he is delighted at the strides made by the Bank in growing its market share across Africa. In his words, “Our retail business has continued to grow, as we ride on our agency banking network, trusted brand, competitive product offerings and quality service delivery to deepen our retail penetration,”

Alawuba who also commented on his recent appointment as Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, alongside five other Group Executive Directors, assured the investing public of his relentless commitment to the growth of the business. “Together, with our highly motivated workforce, we are poised to usher the business into a new era of growth that will deliver superior values to all stakeholders,” he said.

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.

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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Business

UBA Announces Bawuah As First Female CEO

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The Board of Directors of the United Bank for Africa Plc, Africa’s Global Bank, has announced the appointment of Mrs. Abiola Bawuah, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UBA Africa. Bawuah will also join the Group Board as an Executive Director, overseeing the Group’s operations across the African continent, outside Nigeria.

UBA operates in 19 African countries beyond Nigeria, in addition to global operations in New York, London, Paris and the UAE.

Bawuah, a Ghanaian national, is the first female CEO of UBA Africa.  Her appointment further demonstrates UBA’s commitment to diversity. The UBA Group Board now includes eight female Directors.

Prior to her appointment, Bawuah was Regional CEO, West Africa, supervising the Group’s operations in nine subsidiaries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. She previously held the role of CEO, UBA Ghana.

Speaking on the new appointment, the Group Board Chairman, Mr Tony O. Elumelu, said, “Abiola has contributed significantly to the growth of UBA Africa for close to a decade. She brings a wealth of experience in commercial banking, and stakeholder engagement.  It also gives me great pleasure that with her appointment, the UBA Group Board has now become a majority female board.”

The UBA Group also announced the following executive roles:

Chris Ofikulu becomes the Regional CEO, UBA West Africa.  Ofikulu, who has over two decades of banking experience spanning corporate, commercial, and retail banking.

Uzoechina Molokwu will take on the role as Deputy Managing Director (DMD) of UBA Ghana, subject to local regulatory approvals.  He was previously the Executive Director, Business Development – UBA Côte d’Ivoire and has over 23 years banking experience.

Ayokunle Olajubu will be the Managing Director/CEO UBA Liberia, subject to local regulatory approvals. He currently drives compliance across Africa subsidiaries andcomes with 30 years banking experience in Nigeria and other African countries,includingSierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire and the Gambia.

Theresa Henshaw has been appointed as CEO of UBA UK, subject to local regulatory approvals. She was previously the DMD, Business Development, UBA America and joined the Group as ED, Business Development at UBA UK.

Usman Isiaka, currently CEO, UBA Sierra Leone, will be the Deputy CEO in UBA America, subject to local regulatory approvals.

Adeyemi Adeleke, the former CEO of UBA, UK is now the Group Treasurer.  Adeleke will be working to unlock the immense value in the Group’s multi-jurisdictional balance sheet, leveraging on its presence in 24 countries within and beyond Africa.

In addition to the executive appointments, UBA has announced the retirement of High Chief Samuel Oni, an independent non-executive Director, from the Board following the expiration of his tenure.  He joined the UBA Group in January 2015 and served on the Board of the Group for eight years.

The Group Chairman, Mr Elumelu expressed his appreciation to High Chief Oni, for his commitment, leadership and extensive contributions to the UBA Group and on behalf of the Board, wishes him the very best in all his future endeavours.

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NNPCL Takes over Operation from Addax Petroleum Development (Nigeria) Limited

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After fulfilling closing obligations, NNPC Ltd and Addax Petroleum Development (Nigeria) Limited amicably terminate their 24-Year Production Sharing Contract Relationship.

Three (3) months after the execution of the Addax Transfer, Settlement, and Exit Agreement (TSEA) for the PSC Oil blocks, OMLs 123/124 & 126/137, operated by Addax Petroleum Development (Nigeria) Limited, the Assets have finally been transferred to the Concessionaire, NNPC Limited.

In 2021, issues around the revocation of the licences by the upstream industry regulator NUPRC (formerly DPR) required the intervention of Mr President, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari.

Consequently, in a Presidential directive, NNPC was directed to oversee a clean, amicable and speedy exit for Addax Petroleum Ltd, operate the asset on interim basis, as a first step and subsequently appoint a competent contractor (with the concurrence of NUPRC) to operate the asset on behalf of the Concessionaire (NNPC Limited)

After over 180 days of intense negotiation, the first step of the directive was achieved.

Exit discussions and formalities were concluded and NNPC Ltd, with the backing of the Presidency, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, NUPRC, NMDPRA, FIRS, EFCC, and the FCCPC, aligned on a clean and amicable exit for Addax by resolving all the PSC contractual issues in a robust, organized, and tactful manner that culminated to the execution of a Transfer, Settlement, and Exit Agreement (TSEA) on the 1st of November, 2022.
Since then, closing obligations were fulfilled by the parties and effective January 31, 2023, Addax transfers the operatorship of OMLs 123/124 and 126/137 to Antan Producing Limited on interim basis pending the appointment of a substantive Contractor that will operate the blocks on behalf of the Concessionaire (NNPCL)
Already NNPCL has announced the appointment of the Transition Team lead, Mr Sagiru Jajere, as the Managing Director of Antan Producing Limited. Mr Jajere was, before his appointment, the Head of PSC Investment Management at the NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services (NUIMS). He will be supported by a team of highly competent personnel with in-depth knowledge of the peculiarities of the Addax Assets.

The final close-out and handover ceremony for the Addax Assets was well attended with the representative of the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Justice, Executive Chairman Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Executive Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Commission Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and the Authority Chief Executive, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), NNPC Ltd and Addax top management.

As the Addax Assets return to NNPC Limited, it is expected that the much-needed investments will be deployed to the Assets while prudently conducting petroleum activities and creating value for the PSC, Federal Government, and other stakeholders.

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Emefiele Shuns Reps’ Summons As Banks Ration New Notes

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An ad hoc committee set up by the House of Representatives to investigate the scarcity of the new naira at commercial banks on Wednesday has frowned at the failure of the management staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria to appear before it on Thursday just as the House has insisted on January 31 deadline set for the exchange of the old notes with the new ones

This came barely two months after the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, failed to appear before the House over issues relating to the naira redesign.

The House had on Tuesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari over the brewing crisis occasioned by the January 31 deadline.

Apart from asking the CBN to extend the window for swapping the old notes with the newly redesigned one by six months, the House had invited the banks to a meeting on Wednesday over the scarcity of new naira notes.

The managing directors/chief executive officers of the banks, under the auspices of the Bankers’ Committee, were to meet with an ad hoc committee of the House to be chaired by the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.

On Wednesday, the CBN failed to appear before the committee.

However, Ado-Doguwa, at the inaugural investigative hearing of the committee, stated, “For the purposes of clarification, I want to say without any fear of contradiction, that the parliament is always an institution that represents the Nigerian people. For an invitation to any government employee, like it is the case here with the CBN, the governor of the CBN, his directors, deputy directors, all departmental heads, I believe, are employees of the Nigerian people; and when there is a kind of summons from the institution of the parliament like this, we expect every up-and-doing employee to only respect that invitation.”

“On this note, I would like to convey to this committee and members of the public and the press here with us that we have conceded to allow the CBN officials to come tomorrow by 1pm, so that we would engage them. And immediately after the engagement with them, we would engage the bank operators.”

Meanwhile, there was palpable discontent among bank customers in Lagos on Wednesday after some commercial banks shut down their Automated Teller Machines, ostensibly due to paucity or unavailability of new naira notes.

The development came in the wake of threats by the Central Bank of Nigeria that it would sanction any bank that dispensed old naira notes on its Automated Teller Machines.

When our correspondent visited four banks — Zenith Bank, United Bank for Africa, Access Bank and Stanbic IBTC along Iju road in the Ogba area of Lagos State, it was observed the bank ATMs were neither dispensing the new naira notes nor the old ones.

Meanwhile, a myriad of disgruntled customers were seen lamenting the frustration of not being able to withdraw cash from any of the ATMs in the area.

Our correspondent proceeded to visit Zenith Bank, Access and UBA along Ogunnusi road in the Ojodu axis of the state. The story was no different as a small crowd of frustrated customers was seen lamenting their inability to withdraw cash.

While some of the banks cited technical difficulties for their inability to dispense money via the machines, others said their ATMs had developed faults and could not temporarily dispense cash.

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