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UBA@75: How We Grew Customer Base To 45m — GMD

 

The Group Managing Director of the United Bank for Africa PLC, Mr Oliver Alawuba, yesterday reiterated the commitment of the bank to supporting the growth.

The Group Managing Director of the United Bank for Africa PLC, Mr Oliver Alawuba, yesterday reiterated the commitment of the bank to supporting the growth of African economies through its intervention in various sectors across the 20 countries it operates.

 

He said the group’s interventions in various sectors, like agriculture, mining, technological innovation, infrastructure financing, among others, had reflected in its growing customer base and depositors’ funds with about 45 million customers across the continent and N18 trillion depositors’ funds.

UBA is one of the largest banks in Nigeria, with a customer deposit of N18.3 trillion as of the end of March 2024, representing a significant increase compared to N14.89 trillion customer deposits it recorded in the same period in 2023.

Alawuba spoke during the world press conference to herald a year-long programme to mark the 75th anniversary of the bank’s establishment.

With a modest beginning in a street of Lagos in 1949, the bank has grown to be one of the global biggest financial institutions with presence in 20 African countries including Nigeria.

Flanked by other management staff, the GMD stated that the 75th anniversary was a celebration of the sacrifice of past leaders, a commendation for the present leadership and a foresight into the future, saying the past 75 years had been marked by excellence and stability.

He said the priority of the bank is to support the growth of the African continent and promote intra-African trade.

Alawuba added that UBA is working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to proffer solutions to the financial crisis in the country.

According to him, the federal government had taken very positive decisions with the removal of subsidy from petroleum and the floating of the naira/harmonisation of the foreign exchange.

He said the policies no doubt come with little hiccups which would fizzle away over time, adding, “If those decisions were not taken, the crisis would have been worse.”

The GMD stated also that the bank’s overall goal is to drive financial inclusivity by increasing the number of Africans that have bank accounts, adding, “We are using digital means to get to everywhere in Africa.

“Our vision is to be a role model for African businesses. Our primary focus is to be that bank that is truly African, moving businesses, supporting intra-African trade, a bank that will continue to encourage intra-African trade. We are working with various partners to ensure intra-African trade is given a boost,” he added.

 

Alawuba further explained that their support for the African economy is anchored on supporting SME businesses which he described as the cornerstone of the economy.

“We are committed to developing Africa; we are supporting the key sectors that are pushing the African economy and it is showing in our businesses. Today, the deposit in UBA is about 18 trillion. Today, our customer base is about 45 million customers across Africa and this is growing on a daily basis.

 

“We don’t just support the businesses, we support all the value chains that are tied to these businesses so that the SME business will continue to thrive. We recognise that SME is the future of this continent and we would continue to provide support for SME business,” he added.

 

The Executive Director, Finance and Risk Management, Ugochukwu Nwaghodoh, said UBA is well prepared for the recapitalisation programme of the CBN, noting that the policy would strengthen the banking system.

 

He noted that the bank’s non-performing loans (NPLs) at 5.8% remained one of the lowest in the industry.

 

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