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How Vision and Dedication Catapult an Institution to Greatness

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There is no gainsaying that having a vision and purpose, gives direction to ones hustle as well as gives flight to dreams. To put in perspective, It helps you focus on what you want to achieve and the steps you need to take, to get you there. Without a clear vision, you may end up going in different directions, wasting time and resources. For a number of individuals and institutions who have passionately followed this principle, the outcome has been, that of enviable success.

Individuals and organisations who get better at what they do, all over the world have constantly shown and proven that when you go at your dream relentlessly even when it seems daunting, eventually it all comes together. That is consistency. It helps you gain mastery of a particular skill or set of skills. Consistency opens the door to expertise and eventual greatness.

Today, the iconic success story of UBA since coming into existence 75 years ago, typifies this and is indeed an exceptional one which is a testament to vision and sheer determination and truly deserves commendation.

Whether it’s in its first rate customers service, passion to overall wellbeing, customer satisfaction, business growth, the ability to maintain a steady course over time from generation to generation as evidenced in the overwhelming testimonials of UBA generational customers, is one that has kept the bank constantly leap-frogging competition in bounds which is why UBA continues to enjoy enduring success. This principle is brilliantly exemplified in what the United Bank for Africa (UBA) PLC, a financial institution which has not only survived but thrived for 75 years stands for. Let’s look at how UBA’s unwavering commitment to excellence has allowed it to keep getting better with age.

Adapting to Change and Innovation

UBA has stayed relevant for 75 years by embracing technological advancements. From launching the first chat banking bot in Africa, the first cash deposit ATMs in Nigeria to launching the Braille account opening form for the visually impaired, The bank has continued to balance reliability with innovation.

A Legacy of Trust

While speaking during a global press conference as part of its 75th anniversary celebration, Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Mr. Oliver Alawuba, said: “Since 1949, UBA has continued to support and transform businesses across Africa, especially in the critical SME space. One such transformed business is Destination Global Investment, a beverage distribution company that was able to expand its business into major distributorship, through the support of UBA”. “This he attested to the bank’s huge contribution to the growth of businesses and the bank’s unwavering dedication to its customers (C1st Philosophy) which has made it easy to build this legacy of trust and reliability”.

Alawuba also applauded the Group Chairman of UBA Group, Mr. Tony Elumelu for his visionary leadership and tutelage without which, he said the bank’s success would have been impossible.

Also, Alawuba noted that the bank remains committed to improving and facilitating intra-Africa trade, adding that the $6 billion it pledged for that purpose would be used to finance it and as well as support from Development Finance Institutions (DFIs).

“we are committed to developing Africa. We are committed to supporting the key sectors that are pushing African economies. And it is showing even in our performances and our businesses. If you look at our accounts and performance, you will see that our performance has continued to improve, reflecting clearly what we are doing.

“We don’t just support these businesses; we support all the value-chain that are tied to these businesses so that the SMEs will continue to thrive. SMEs are the future of Africa and will continue to provide support to SME businesses,” he said.

“We are committed to expanding our presence, seizing growth opportunities, and delivering value to all stakeholders. Collaboration and partnerships as exemplified by the $6 billion SME funding agreement signed with the African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will be instrumental in achieving our strategic objectives. We are dedicated to deepening relationships with customers, employees, regulators, and other stakeholders for mutual benefit and long-term success.

“As we embark on the next phase of our journey, I urge all stakeholders to continue their support and collaboration. Together, we will write the next chapter of success for United Bank for Africa Plc.”

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CIBN Appoints UBA CEO, Oliver Alawuba As Chairman

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The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa, (UBA) Plc, Oliver Alawuba has been appointed as the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), the Body of Banks’ CEOs.

The CIBN announced this appointment on its website on Monday, July 8, 2024.

This prestigious appointment underscores Alawuba’s extensive experience and visionary leadership in the banking sector, as well as his unwavering commitment towards advancing the financial industry in Nigeria and across Africa.

In his role as Chairman, Alawuba will be at the forefront of fostering collaboration and driving strategic initiatives among the top executives of banks in Nigeria.

Like he has achieved as the GMD of Africa’s Global Bank, UBA, his leadership is expected to bring innovative solutions and strengthen the collective efforts of the banking community while addressing the dynamic challenges and opportunities within the financial sector.

The CIBN also announced the appointment of Mrs. Miriam Olusanya, the CEO of GTBank, as the Vice Chairman of the Body of Banks’ CEOs. Her appointment, alongside Alawuba’s, signifies a strong and unified leadership team poised to enhance the banking landscape in Nigeria.

UBA extends its heartfelt congratulations to Alawuba and Olusanya on their appointment and the Bank is confident that their combined expertise and visionary leadership will usher in a new era of progress and innovation for the banking industry in Nigeria, and that under their guidance, the Body of Banks’ CEOs will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping policies and strategies that will drive sustainable economic growth and enhance the overall stability of the financial system in Nigeria.

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Nigerian Exchange Suspends Shares of Eight Firms

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NGX Regulation, the regulatory arm of the NGX Group, has suspended trading in the shares of eight companies for default in filing their relevant accounts for 2023.

In a market bulletin on Monday, the Head of the Issuer Regulation Department, Godstime Iwenekhai, said the suspension was effective immediately.

According to the market bulletin, the affected companies include, Unity Bank, C&I Leasing Plc, Guinea Insurance, Lasaco Assurance, Mutual Benefits Assurance, NPF Microfinance Bank, Regency Alliance Insurance, and Secure Electronic Technology Plc.

Iwenekhai said, “Trading in the shares of the eight companies below have been suspended from the facilities of Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX or The Exchange) effective today, Monday, 8 July 2024 for not filing their Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2023.”

As per post-listing requirements, companies on the Exchange are mandated to submit their accounts and other documents within specified time frame.
NGX RegCo said that it acted by Rule 3.1 about the Filing of Accounts and Treatment of Default Filing, (Default Filling Rules), which said, “If an Issuer fails to file the relevant accounts by the expiration of the Cure Period, The Exchange will a) Send to the issuer a Second Filing Deficiency Notification within two business days after the end of the Cure Period

“b) Suspend trading in the issuer’s securities, and c) Notify the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Market within 24 hours of the suspension.”

Based on the rule, the suspension on trading in the shares of the affected companies would be lifted once they comply with the rules.

Insurance companies had experienced delays in filing their 2023 annual report due to the adoption of IFRS 17 standards.

IFRS 17 requires a company to recognise profits as it delivers insurance services (rather than when it receives premiums) and to provide information about insurance contract profits the company expects to recognise in the future.

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Dangote Refinery Can Solve Nigeria’s Forex Problems, Catalyse Economic Development – S&P Global

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International financial analytics corporation, S&P Global, has described the 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals company as capable of resolving Nigeria’s foreign exchange (forex) issue and its huge pressure on the local Naira currency, while also catalysing the country’s economic development.

S&P Global, headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, disclosed this during an onsite visit to the Dangote Refinery at Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos as part of its sovereign credit ratings assessment of Nigeria. The team from the international rating agency were accompanied by officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

S&P noted that the largest single-train refinery complex in the world would bolster Nigeria’s oil sector and, more importantly, also have a positive impact on its growing economy.

Director and Lead Analyst, Sovereign and International Public Finance Ratings, S&P Global Ratings, Ravi Bhatia, who led the delegation to Lagos, said Dangote refinery would transform Nigeria into a net exporter of petroleum products. He added that this transformation is expected to boost revenue generation and alleviate the current pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

“It is a very impressive facility, able to process 650,000 barrels a day, when in full capacity. It is the largest single-train refinery complex in the world. It came out quite quickly. Nigeria is a big exporter of crude but has issues with importing refined fuels. So, there is a gap in the market where crude can be refined in Nigeria, save money that way, and potentially save some foreign exchange. This will be positive for the economy in the medium term. It looks positive from our assessment,” Bhatia said after an over four-hour tour of the facility.
Also, in a chat with the media, Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Devakumar Edwin, who led the team during the tour of the facility, reiterated that by harnessing Africa’s abundant crude oil resources to produce refined products locally, the company aims to catalyse a virtuous cycle of industrial development, job creation, and economic prosperity. He also revealed that, as earlier promised, the company will start the production of premium motor spirit (PMS), this month (July).

Noting that products from the $20 billion facility are of high quality and meet international standards, Edwin said it can meet 100 per cent of Nigeria’s demand for petrol, diesel, kerosene, and aviation Jet, with surpluses available for export.

The S&P team commended the President of Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, for integrating advanced technologies and quality control measures, including a state-of-the-art Central Control Unit ensuring smooth automation of operations.

Other members of the team of the international rating agency include the Associate Director, Sovereign Ratings, Maxmillian McGraw; Director, Corporate Ratings, Omegu Collocott; Senior Analyst, Bank Ratings, Charlotte Masvongo, and Director, Financial Services, Samira Mensah.
Currently operating at 350,000 barrels per day capacity, Edwin said the refinery is slated to scale up to at least 500,000 barrels per day capacity by July/August, commencing the refining of petrol and ultra-low sulphur diesel.

He noted that the refinery, designed to process a wide range of crudes including various African and Middle Eastern crudes, as well as US Light Oil, conforms to Euro V specifications. In addition, it is designed to comply with US EPA, European Union (EU) emission norms, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) emission/effluent norms, and the African Refiners and Distribution Association (ARDA) standards.

While noting that most refineries were built by foreign companies, he said it is a thing of pride that a Nigerian company designed and built the world’s largest single-train refinery complex while acting directly as its own Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor. The refinery also incorporates a self-sufficient marine facility capable of handling the world’s largest vessels.

“The refinery can produce the best quality products in the world, Euro V grade. It is one of the energy-efficient refineries and it is highly environmentally friendly. It is sophisticated with a high level of automation. The largest single train refinery in the world is 100 per cent designed, engineered, and constructed by a Nigerian company as EPC contractor,” he said.

Nigeria, one of the world’s leading oil-producing countries, exports all its crude oil for refining and subsequently imports refined products due to a lack of operational refineries. It is estimated that Nigeria imports at least 50 million litres of petrol per day to meet domestic demand.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its Foreign Trade Statistics for the Fourth Quarter of 2023, Nigeria spent approximately N12 trillion on the importation of petroleum products in 2023, including premium motor spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol. This figure marks an 18.68% increase compared to the N10 trillion spent on fuel imports in 2022.

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