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UBA realigns to improve operational efficiency; shareholders laud 2013 performance, approve dividend payout

By News Express on 29/04/2014

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United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has announced key appointments to drive its quest for industry leadership by 2015 in keeping with its Project Alpha project.

UBA’s Project Alpha is a three-year road map of key transformation initiatives, designed to reinforce the Group’s strategic positioning and leverage its huge Africa presence to fully exploit the burgeoning opportunities in Africa’s economic renaissance.

In order to accelerate the level of achievement of the Project Alpha objectives, the Group has announced the splitting of its operations into two broad divisions, UBA Africa and UBA Nigeria.

The UBA Africa Division will be made up of the 18 African country subsidiaries of the UBA Group outside Nigeria. UBA Africa will have a CEO supported by two Deputies along the Bank’s two core product lines: Wholesale Banking (comprising, Corporate Bank, Institutional Bank and Public Sector) and Retail Banking (comprising, Personal Banking and SME Banking).

Kennedy Uzoka, Deputy Managing Director, has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer, UBA Africa while Emeke Iweriebor, an Executive Director, has been appointed UBA Africa Deputy CEO, Retail Bank; and Oliver Alawuba is now UBA Africa Deputy CEO, Wholesale Bank.

According to Phillips Oduoza, Group Managing Director, “the newly created UBA Africa Division will grow and deepen the bank’s presence in member countries, optimise the synergies within the network, deepen service delivery excellence, and promote cultural integration and a high level of motivation in UBA staff in the different countries to foster one UBA Family.”

Also, the new UBA Nigeria Division of the Group which will be managed by Mr. Apollos Ikpobe, Deputy Managing Director (DMD), Domestic Bank, will consolidate all of UBA’s Nigerian businesses into a single division and will comprise all the Regional Banks in Nigeria, Corporate Bank, Energy Bank, and UBA Pensions.  The Nigeria division will intensify the bank’s focus on the Nigerian market, with the aim of expanding its market share, while deepening UBA’s wallet share of existing businesses.

Also in the announcement, Ms. Obi Ibekwe, formerly Executive Director, Human Resources and Customer Service, is now the Executive Director, Resources overseeing Human Resources, Customer Service, Corporate Services and Procurement.

“These changes will have a strategic impact on our business as we take critical steps to fast track our Project Alpha initiatives and transformation process. Stakeholders will no doubt see significant results from the organisational and human capital repositioning we are making to enhance value creation in the Group’s operations,” Oduoza said.

Meanwhile, UBA shareholders have unanimously endorsed the bank’s annual report and accounts for the year ended December 31, 2013 just as they commended the board and management for sustaining the bank’s profitability, despite the challenging operating environment.

Speaking Friday at the bank’s Annual General Meeting, held at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos, the shareholders extolled the board for consistently delivering value on their investments in the bank. They also approved the N0.50 per share dividend as recommended by the board.

National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, said: “The board and management should be commended for the way they handled last year’s operations of the Bank, they have done well and we look forward to a better dividend next year.”

Similarly, President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Boniface Okezie, said: “We hope for a better operating environment next year so that the Bank can pay higher dividend.”

Giving the bnk’s scorecard for the year under review, Chairman, Ambassador Joe Keshi, said UBA has been able to consistently deliver value to shareholders, due to the bank’s resilient business model, and despite the unanticipated domestic and global headwinds faced by the industry.

Speaking on the bank’s financial performance, he said, the UBA Group recorded gross earnings of N264.7 billion for the period under review, an increase of 20% over the N220.1 billion recorded in 2012.

His words: “The headline performance was buoyed by growth in interest income and non-interest revenue. Loan growth and improved pricing boosted interest income which grew by 24%, whilst Non-interest income grew by a modest 15%. Profit before income tax was up by 8% to N56.1 billion compared to N52.0 billion in the prior year (2012).

“We believe the bank is poised to deliver better performance in 2014 as the underlying momentum of the Group’s business continues to be robust.”

Also speaking during the AGM, GMD/Chief Executive Officer, Oduoza said the bank’s African subsidiaries recorded  overall revenue growth of 22% in 2013 to N49.9 billion, from N41.5 billion in 2012. He stressed that revenue growth rate in 2013 surpassed the 18% growth in the previous year. Also, the equity base attributable to the African subsidiaries remained strong at N55.2 billion, from N45.7 billion in 2012.

Oduoza emphasised  that while key strategic imperatives as defined in 2013 remains the major thrust for the actualisation of the bank’s “PROJECT ALPHA” corporate goals, management will leverage on the viable platform established in 2013 to further consolidate on the current growth momentum.

“We will adopt a very aggressive approach to market and ensure focused implementation of our strategic priorities, to drive achievement of our corporate targets,” he added.

He disclosed that as a proactive bank, UBA has adequately resourced and re- aligned its structures to optimise emerging opportunities arising across all the regional blocs, while also adopting appropriate risk management frameworks to mitigate likely exposures in its operations both within the local and global environment.

News Express reports that UBA Plc is one of Africa’s leading financial institutions offering banking services to more than 7 million customers across 700 branches in 19 African countries. With presence in New York, London and Paris, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross border payments, trade finance and investment banking.

•Photo shows Board Chairman, Ambassador Joe Keshi (left), GMD/CEO Philips Oduoza (third left); Board Vice Chairman Mrs. Rose Okwechime (2nd left), and UBA Africa CEO Kennedy Uzoka, during UBA’s AGM.

Source News Express

Posted 29/04/2014 3:25:11 PM

 

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