UBA Expands Operations To London, Targets More Global Customers

UBA Expands Operations To London, Targets More Global Customers
A file photo of Mr Tony Elumelu

 

The chairman of the United Bank of Africa (UBA) group, Mr Tony Elumelu, has affirmed the bank’s resolve to ensure that its ‘growth campaign’ targets customers in the global market.

Elumelu stated during the launch of the bank’s operations in London, United Kingdom, where he lited the achievements of the bank in February 2019.

According to him, the second phase of the growth campaign which will cover at least eight African countries will make banking activities seamless for millions of UBA customers across the continent.

 

“We have started the second phase of our growth campaign that will take us to at least eight African countries,” the business mogul told Channels Television.

He added, “Just in February alone, this is the second bank operation we are opening. We were in Mali on February 4, to commission UBA Mali, and on February 28, we have commissioned UBA London.

“We have aspirations, and our intent is to follow our 17 million customers of UBA across Africa.”

The Group Managing Director, UBA Group, Kennedy Uzoka, in his part revealed that with the widespread operations which have extended to the UK, customers no longer have to worry about third-party banks for transactions following the recently acquired operational licence.

Uzoka explained, “Before UBA got here, and with the kind of license we had before, it meant that if a business in any of the anglophone countries is transacting with a partner in England, they must deal with another bank. But today, with our wholesale licence, that is a thing of the past.”

The Chief Executive Officer, UBA UK Limited, Patrick Gutman, also said the bank was committed to strengthening its relationship with its customers in London.

He was hopeful that the strength of the bank would earn a natural synergy with its customers in London and help in achieving its target to tap into the $1 trillion trade and investments across Africa.

Gutman stated, “On the back of the strength of the group and the client base, and the flows that the group is involved in and how the group is supporting its clients, we believe there is a natural synergy with London and with us in London.”

Court Orders EFCC, Two Banks To Pay Benue Govt. N100m

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and two banks to jointly pay the sum of N100 million to the Benue State government.

The EFCC and the two banks – United Bank of Africa (UBA) and Fidelity Bank – are being fined for illegally freezing the accounts of the state government last year.

Delivering judgement in the suit filed by the Benue State Government challenging the legality of the EFCC’s action, Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon on Tuesday, ordered the anti-graft agency to pay the Benue State Government the sum of N50 million as damages, while both banks are to pay the sum of N25 million each.

Justice Olajuwon stated that the accounts of the Benue State Government that were frozen, do not fall within the classes or categories of accounts liable to be frozen by the EFCC.

She declared the action of the anti-corruption body as illegal, null and void, saying that the order by the EFCC to the affected Banks to freeze the accounts was not obtained from a Federal High Court.

The Judge, thereafter, granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining the EFCC from further freezing State Government’s accounts domiciled in financial institutions.

Reacting to the judgement, the Benue State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Michael Gusa described the judgement as sound, adding that the Ortom administration believes in the rule of law and due process, and would not fail to challenge any act of illegality on the State.

The EFCC had ordered the freezing of the accounts of Benue State Government in UBA and Fidelity Bank after Governor Samuel Ortom defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the premise that the governor’s security vote was being investigated.

Consequently, the state government, through the office of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, approached the court seeking a declaration that EFCC acted against the law when it directed the banks to freeze its accounts.

UBA’s $500m Eurobond 240% Over Subscribed

United Bank for Africa says it has successfully raised 500 million dollars though a Debut Euro Bond, which was oversubscribed by 240 percent.

The bond which is rated ”B” with a stable outlook by both Fitch and S&P rating agencies will mature in June 2022 with a coupon rate of 7.75 percent, priced at an effective yield of 7.87 percent.

This pricing was seen by the global investor community as the best possible pricing for a debut issue from a Nigerian-based financial institution in the international market.

Speaking on the Eurobond, the Group Managing Director/CEO of UBA, Mr Kennedy Uzoka, said the successful dollar-denominated offering further illustrates global investor confidence in the strong fundamentals of the company.

Absence of EFCC Counsel Stalls Trial Of Jonathan’s Aide

Judges, Court, Judges, Court, Absence of EFCC Counsel Stalls Trial Of Jonathan's AideThe trial of Waripamo-Owei Emmanuel Dudafa, the former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, could not go on Tuesday at the Federal High Court in Lagos, owing to the absence of the EFCC’s counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.

Presiding judge, Justice Muhammad Idris, told the court that he received a letter from the EFCC counsel seeking for an adjournment.

In the letter, Mr Oyedepo asked the court to grant the adjournment to enable him attend to an appeal filed by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Ricky Tarfa against the commission

Counsel to Mr Dudafa, Gboyega Oyewole, did not object to the request for an adjournment. He however informed the court that he was surprised that his client was not present in court.

Upon enquiry from the prison’s officials, Mr Oyewole said he was told that Dudafa is seriously sick.

He complained about the EFCC treatment of his client.

Justice Mohammed Idris has granted the prosecutor’s application and adjourned the matter till Thursday November 10, for the continuation of the defendants’ trial.

Dudafa and one Iwejuo Joseph Nna, are standing trial before Justice Mohammed Idris on alleged 5.1 billion naira fraud.

In the first count, the defendants on or about June 11, 2013 in Lagos allegedly conspired amongst themselves to conceal the sum of 1.667 billion Naira said to be the proceeds of crime.

The Offence was said to be contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a) of the same Act.

In the other charges, Mr Waripamo-Owei also allegedly used six companies – Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Ebiwise Resources, Pluto Property and Investment Company, Rotato Interlink Services and De Jakes Fast Food and Restaurant Nigeria Limited  – to conceal varying sums of money between June 2013 and April 2016.

The EFCC’s Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had listed 21 witnesses to testify against the defendants, including Representatives of some banks.

CBN Lifts Forex Ban On Eight Suspended Banks

CBN on Forex suspension on banks The Central of Nigeria (CBN) has lifted the ban on eight banks earlier sanctioned for foreign exchange sharp practices.

The Director of Banking Supervision at CBN, Mrs Tokunbo Martins, told journalists in Abuja on Wednesday that the Apex Bank took the decision following the receipt of proposal for a repayment plan by the affected banks.

Last week, the CBN banned nine banks from the foreign exchange market, for hiding over $2 billion belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

But the ban on United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, one of the affected banks, was lifted after the lender remitted all outstanding NNPC/NLNG deposits in its possession to NNPC’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) at the CBN.

 

NBS Releases June Inflation Rate

Bureau Of Statistics, Inflation RateNigeria’s headline inflation increased by 16.5% in June from 15.6% in May, as the rate continues to increase for the fifth consecutive month.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the 0.9% increase is attributed to a rise in energy costs, imported food items and related products.

During the period, the food index rose at a faster rate of 1.4%, month-on-month due to increase in the prices of meat, vegetables and cereals.

While the urban index also jumped 11.9% in June, the corresponding rural index increased from 10.4% to 10.9%.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian stock market’s benchmark index dropped by 25 basis points to 28,733.90, while the market capitalisation fell by 25 billion naira to 9.86 trillion naira against Friday’s figure, as the market reacts to the country’s June inflation data, and financial markets illiquidity.

However, investors’ appetite for stock remained moderate as a total of 315.5 million shares worth 1.72 billion naira were traded in 3,976 deals at the close of session.

Skye Bank topped the lead of the most actively traded stock with a whopping 138.2 million shares followed by FBN Holdings and UBA.

On the price table, Skye Bank was also the major price advancer in a list of ten, with a 10% increase to its share price, followed by Forte Oil and Nigerian Police Microfinance Bank.

And on the flip side, Law Union and Rock Insurance led 23 other decliners including Wapco and Arbico, down by 8.33%.

EFCC Charges Jonathan’s Aide, Waripamo-Owei

EFCC, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei, Goodluck JonathanThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a 23-count charge against the Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei.

Channels Television’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele, who obtained a copy of the charge, said that Mr Waripamo-Owei was charged alongside one Iwejuo Joseph Nna, also known at various times as Taiwo Ebenezer and Olugbenga Isaiah.

In the first count, the defendants on or about June 11, 2013 in Lagos allegedly conspired amongst themselves to conceal the sum of 1.667 billion Naira said to be the proceeds of crime.

The Offence was said to be contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a) of the same Act.

In the other charges, Mr Waripamo-Owei also allegedly used six companies – Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Ebiwise Resources, Pluto Property and Investment Company, Rotato Interlink Services and De Jakes Fast Food and Restaurant Nigeria Limited  – to conceal varying sums of money between June 2013 and April 2016.

The EFCC’s Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had listed 21 witnesses to testify against the defendants, including Representatives of some banks.

The accused have been scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

I Am Connected To My People In Gwoza, Senator Ndume Insists

Ali-NdumaThe Majority Leader in the Senate, Ali Ndume, representing nine local government areas in Borno State, one of which is Gwoza, devastated by insurgency, has dismissed claims that he is not keeping in touch with his constituents since the crisis.

He told Channels Television on Friday that he had been to Goza and was in constant relationship with his constituents.

On Wednesday, the Vice Chairman of Gwoza Local Government Area, Mr Ibrahim Adamu, expressed worry over the alleged inability of Senator Ndume, to come to visit IDPs from Gwoza in Abuja.

But Senator Ndume dismissed the claims, saying that Mr Adamu’s statement was not a reflection of Gwoza people’s disposition.

“That is not a reflection of Gwoza people.

“This is the first time you will see somebody from Gwoza talking about us.

“I know everything that is going to Gwoza. I have been to Gwoza when Boko Haram insurgency was at its peak.

“I moved into Gwoza and I am connected to my people,” Senator Ndume stressed.

Giving a breakdown of the affected areas in the Borno State, he said that at a time, most of the local governments in his zone were captured by the insurgents.

“Gwoza was occupied, but Bama which is near Gwoza was completely razed. My two houses were completed razed.

“When Gowza was invaded and people ran to Uba, I was there with them. When Chibok girls were abducted, I was in Maiduguri. I was the one that insisted that we move to Chibok to take account of the missing girls.

“As I told you, for somebody like me who is a poor person, how can I be sustaining my winning elections for four times if I am not connected with my people? He that is talking did not vote for me because he does not have voter’s card,” the Senator claimed.

Four Nigerian Banks Among Global Top 500 Banking Brands

Nigerian BanksFirst Bank of Nigeria ranks 320 in the 2016 top 500 banking brands ranking published by the Banker Magazine of Financial Times Group.

The bank moved up the scale 16 places from 336th position in 2015 to retain its number one banking brand ranking in Nigeria for the fifth consecutive year.

A press release from the country representative of the Banker Magazine in Nigeria, Kunle Ogedengbe, added that three other Nigerian banks also made the ranking.

They are Guaranty Trust Bank which moved to 389th position, Zenith Bank at 392nd, and United Bank for Africa at the 447th position.

Access Bank that made the ranking at 496th position in 2015 dropped from the 2016 ranking.

According to The Banker magazine, Nigeria has the highest brand value increase of $249m among the five countries in Africa that made the ranking.

Egypt moved up by $239m; Togo gained $134m while South Africa and Morocco lost $878mn and $213m.

The top 10 banks in the world are Well Fargo (USA); ICBC (China); China Construction Bank; Agricultural Bank of China; Chase (USA); Bank of China; Bank of America; Citi (USA); HSBC (UK); and Barclays (UK).

Governor El-Rufai To Commence Verification Of Kaduna Civil Servants

Governor El-Rufai To Commence Verification Of Kaduna Civil ServantsKaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has announced the commencement of biometric verification of all civil servants in the state’s workforce from Wednesday.

The exercise was signed and announced on Sunday by the Head of Service to Kaduna State Governor, Mrs Alisabatu Dada-Onazi.

Mrs Dada-Onazi said that the verification exercise was designed to provide the State Government with accurate and reliable record of its personnel and clean-up its payroll.

According to the statement issued to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, data collected from the exercise would enable the government to determine whether the billions of Naira spent monthly on staff salaries were paid to identifiable and verifiable civil servants or not.

It further explained that the biometric registration exercise would be conducted simultaneously across the three senatorial zones which are Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria.

The civil servants, in the statement, were advised to bring their letter of appointment, letter of last promotion and means of identification which could be their National Identity Card, Driver’s License, Permanent Voter Card or International Passport.

The Head of Service also directed the workers to physically appear before the verification team for screening and collection of their salary cheques for the month of June 2015.

The biometric verification exercise would be completed on Wednesday July 8.

The Kaduna State Government had in the previous week, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank, to partner in updating the Civil Service Payroll.

Nigerian Army Kills Large Number Of Terrorists In Borno

MutinyThe Nigerian Army has confirmed the death of a large number of Boko Haram terrorists after an encounter with the insurgents between Maiduguri and Damboa towns on Borno State on Friday.

The military however noted that “a mopping operation will determine the number of terrorists who died in the encounter with troops on patrol”.

The clash followed the troops’ move to stop the terrorists who were in the process of attacking the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Engineers who were working to restore power to parts of Borno State.

“A large number of the terrorists died in the process while their IED laden Hilux vehicle was destroyed”, the army said in statement published on their website.

The troops also captured a Hilux vehicle earlier stolen by the terrorists from the Borno State Ministry of Education which they have repainted and mounted with an Ant-Aircraft Gun.

Other weapons recovered by troops include Rocket Propelled Grenades and rifles, but “two soldiers died in the encounter”.

Meanwhile, Military Engineer Troops, who have been clearing terrorists IEDs and effecting repairs on bridges, repelled an attack while working on a bridge around Husara, killing several terrorists in the encounter.

A total of 4 General Purpose Machine Guns, 3 rifles and 2 Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher were captured from the terrorists during the encounter.
One soldier however died while 3 others were wounded in the encounter.

The army further maintained that “troops are conducting land patrol of towns including Mubi, Uba, Garkida, Muva and others in Adamawa State as the advance by coordinated air and land operations continues in areas where the counter terrorists campaign is ongoing to clear terrorists operating in the state.

Boko Haram Displaces 20 Priests, Occupies Three Deaneries In Borno – Catholic Bishop

Boko Haram.The Catholic Bishop of Maiduguri Diocese, Rt. Rev. Dr. Oliver Doeme Dashe on Thursday said out of the 46 catholic priests working in Maiduguri Diocese, 20 are currently displaced by Boko Haram attacks.

He also noted that out of the 40 existing parishes 20 have been deserted, adding that out of the 6 existing Deaneries, 3 are occupied by the Boko Haram members.

He also called on the Federal Government to expedite action towards ending the Boko Haram insurgency or risk its spread across the country.

Speaking to Channels Television in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, the Bishop said the entire north-eastern part of the country, particularly Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, have been greatly affected by the Boko Haram menace.

The Bishop, whose jurisdiction spans across the three states under the emergency rule, said actions of the insurgency has paralysed economic, social, religious, agricultural activities in all the affected states, as people continue to wallow in abject suffering and expressed sadness that government seems to be less concerned.

“I wonder what is happening. The government is supposed to be proactive but the Boko Haram is always ahead of the security personnel and even the plans of the government. Something is basically wrong and I am therefore using this opportunity to call on the government to act decisively before this cancer spreads to every part of the body” the bishop lamented.

He expressed fear that government seems to be surrendering some towns to the insurgents who are advancing gradually, having long taken over Bama, Gwoza, Uba, and now Mubi, apart from several other Local Government Areas in northern part of Borno state.

One of the Reverend Fathers who was in Mubi during the attack, Fr. David Bridling, while narrating his ordeal blamed security forces, who could not repel the attack but ran along with the defenceless civilians.

The priest, who said many people died during the attack, stressed that the federal government is not committed to ending the dastardly acts of the sect members.
Another Mubi resident, Emmanuel Michael Jatau, who spoke to our correspondent called on the Federal Government to act fast as many people now live in hopeless conditions.

He said the Federal Government needs to be more responsive as its actions is giving an impression that Nigeria is a lawless society.