Besides the $1million donation to assist the fight against Ebola, in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, in the three West African countries where the United Bank for Africa (UBA) does business, and other immeasurable and valuable investments in other African countries, the UBA has reconfirmed its Africa network as a strategic priority, and pledged further capital for African growth, UBA-Liberia has announced.
The announcement to pump more money in the African economy, especially through governmental or public projects were made recently at an inaugural Senior Leadership Forum, where the UBA Group Chairman Mr. Tony O. Elumelu reflected on the strategic importance and growth potential of the Group’s pan-African business in a Forum, held in Nigeria recently.
The Forum brought together 90 participants, including the entire Board of UBA, all Chairmen and all CEOs of UBA subsidiaries across Africa and the United Kingdom. It was timed to coincide with UBA’s Annual General Meeting and Group Board Meeting.
Some of the projects the UBA funded include a US$315 million facility to the Government of Ghana for road projects on the strength of Road Fund levies, domiciled with UBA Ghana; a 234 million Euro oil and gas financing deal with Société Africaine de Raffinage (SAR) of Senegal, and a
US$180 million to Delta Energy Zambia for the procurement and supply of petroleum products to marketing companies in Zambia.
Others were a US$90m University of Dakar hostel construction project financed solely by UBA Senegal – African capital, building African infrastructure for African education as well as a USD$1.2 billion oil financing with NNPC and Chevron where UBA provided funding for Chevron and
NNPC to develop 36 new oil wells that will significantly expand Nigeria’s oil production capacity.
This means other countries, where the UBA operates might also benefit in keeping with the objective of creating an institution worthy of the patronage of clients and the trust of regulators and governments, which are inarguably critical issues and drivers for success across the continent.
The pledge of more funding for African countries including the approval of additional injection of capital into its East African subsidiaries in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania was aimed to re-affirm UBA’s commitment to growth in its countries of operations across the continent.
“We are one bank, the United Bank for Africa”, the UBA Group Chairman Elumelu said as he opened the Forum. “Bringing together our senior leadership talent from across the continent and the distinguished leaders who chair our subsidiary businesses is a powerful demonstration of our commitment to forge one bank for Africa.”
“As long-term investors and pioneers in pan-African commercial and investment banking, we are deeply committed to the markets in which we operate and to harnessing the potential represented by the wider African economy. Our intention is to be the leader in African financial services, and our recent transaction track record shows this. We are realizing the potential of Africa” said Mr. Elumelu.
UBA subsidiaries operate in 18 African countries and now contribute more than 25 per cent to Group operating revenue. UBA is increasingly recognized as a strong pan-African brand, hailed for democratizing banking in its countries of operation while participating in leading financial transactions, the group said in a statement.
Other items on the agenda at the Forum included Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies and compliance standards across the Group. The Group Compliance Officer Uche Ike stated that “compliance is non-negotiable. We operate as a global bank, in global centers (London, Paris and New York). We have seen how swiftly, internationally and within Africa, banks have lost hard earned reputations, through laxity in policy compliance and we will not tolerate this in UBA Group“.
The Forum coincided with the 54th Annual General Meeting of UBA (where participants were also able to celebrate the Bank’s strong financial performance) as the week long activities culminated in the dedication of staff at the annual UBA CEO Awards ceremony.
UBA reported strong financial results in 2015, in what is largely recognized as a challenging macro environment. Gross earnings were N315bn whilst operating profits stood at almost N70bn. UBA Africa operations currently contribute approximately 25% of these earnings but are expected to grow significantly and over time contribute as much as 50% to overall Group profitability.