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Tony Elumelu Confident UBA Will Meet CBN’s New Capital Requirements

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Tony Elumelu Confident UBA Will Meet CBN’s New Capital Requirements

Shareholders of UBA have authorised a dividend payment of N78.66 billion for the 2023 financial year.

Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group, Mr. Tony Elumelu, has assured that the bank will meet the new minimum capital requirement set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the stipulated time frame.

Speaking at the 62nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank in Abuja, over the weekend, he said his optimism was hinged on the fact that some of its shareholders have indicated their interest to reinvest significant stakes in the bank.

Elumelu also said there are customers from 19 other African countries where UBA currently operates, who have been yearning to become shareholders of the bank.

This came as shareholders authorised the bank to raise additional capital through issuance of securities comprising ordinary shares, preference shares, convertible and/or non-convertible notes, bonds, or any other instruments, in the Nigerian and/or international capital markets, among others.

The shareholders also okayed payment of N78.66 billion dividend for the 2023 financial year, which translated into N2.30 kobo per share.

The bank also disclosed that its shareholders’ fund had reached over N2 trillion while its deposit base doubled to N18 billion from N9 billion in 12 months.

Addressing journalists shortly after the meeting, Elumelu said, “I would say recapitalisation is something that UBA will accomplish before the stipulated time frame. The Reason being that we have shareholders who want to reinvest in their bank.

“We have customers who want to become shareholders of the bank, and remember that UBA not only operates in Nigeria; it operates 19 other African countries and they’ve been yearning to become shareholders of the bank.        “And we the board has approved, and today, shareholders have supported it that we will do private placements and these private placements will give opportunity to our customers and friends across Africa to invest in UBA.”

He said, “So, when all of these investments come in, plus the rights, the reinvestment by existing shareholders and even the wider Nigerian public, it would be an easy accomplishment.

“We are happy for what has happened. The shareholders were happy to hear that their bank doubled in terms of our deposit base – our deposit base moved from N9 billion last year to N18 billion this year.

“Also, the shareholders’ fund is now over N2 trillion and that is massive, that is significant and awesome. That gives UBA the impetus to support more customers.”

The UBA Group chairman also said the bank was supporting African SMEs with $6 billion over a period of three years “because they believe that SMEs drive the economy of nations, and because UBA is not about profitability; UBA is about helping SMEs to grow, helping to economically empower people.”

Elumelu further expressed satisfaction that UBA Africa was now contributing 55 percent to the group’s profit.

He said, “That’s a validation of our dream, a validation of our vision. When we started branching out in 2007, we were very ambitious in our vision and we were looking forward to the day that UBA Africa will contribute at least 50 percent of our profits.

“Today it’s 55 percent, and that is very interesting, very exciting time. But we’ll do more. Nigeria will do more and better and Africa will do a lot more. UBA International that operates in Dubai, UAE, operates in Paris, in London and in America will also do more in terms of contribution to the bottom line. So, interesting times.”

He also commended the management for recruiting about 1,100 young African graduates who were trained for a period of six months and given employment in the bank.

He pointed out that “At a time that companies are laying people off, UBA is employing because UBA believes that the future of Africa is in the hands of our young ones.

“And UBA believes that joblessness and unemployment is a betrayal of a generation and UBA knows that if we want the future of our country in the hands of our young ones, we must prioritise them and give them support.

“So, I am happy and I commend the management and shareholders also applauded that hiring our young ones was very good.”

However, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, UBA, Mr. Oliver Alawuba, told THISDAY, “Today, I’m very happy with the smiles I see on the faces of the shareholders, the declaration of dividend. In fact, some of them have started receiving their alerts, and you can see they’re very happy with the bank.

“They’re very happy with the performance of 2023, and they’re also very hopeful of a better performance in 2024 and beyond. I believe we’re going to pay a higher dividend this year and next year, and from there we continue to give higher dividends to our shareholders.

“And I’m believing that because when you look at the bank, you’ll find that the bank is well diversified. We are talking about the businesses in 24 countries across sectors. So, the bank is growing in various ways, and you can see the performance of 2023 is such a big performance.

“So, there’s nothing stopping us. We are moving forward. The performance of 2024, 2025 will only be better, and then more dividends will be disbursed to shareholders. Higher share appreciation.”

He said, “Last year, we recorded 238 percent in share appreciation. This year, we are going to see record higher share appreciation, so that the shareholders will be overall better off and happy.

“Our staff are the key cornerstone of UBA and I would like to appreciate them because the staff toil and they make a lot of sacrifices daily just to make sure that our customers are serviced.”

James Emejo

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