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Efficiency Gains Drive UBA’s First Quarter Profits To N18 Billion

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Pan Africa financial services group, United Bank for Africa Plc has announced its unaudited results for the first quarter of 2016 showing gross earnings of N74 billion and profit before tax of N18 billion for the three months ended March 2016.

The Group sustained its strong profitability, recording an annualized 20% return on average equity (RoAE).

“I am pleased to report yet another impressive performance for the period. In addition to achieving better pricing on our assets and liabilities, we leveraged enhanced service channels in growing transaction banking volumes and fee income” said Phillips Oduoza, the GMD/CEO of UBA Plc, while commenting on the results.

He explained that the bank recorded an impressive 12% year-on-year growth in net interest income and sustained net operating income at N50 billion for the first three months of the year.

“I am particularly pleased with the increased contribution of the African subsidiaries, which represented 28% of our Group’s top- and bottom- lines in the first quarter of the year”

He admitted that the first quarter has been challenging, with a host of macroeconomic pressures ranging from inflationary threats to fuel shortages; all of which impacted the business environment.

However, he said UBA remained committed to creating value for its esteemed customers; a strategy which will sustain its strong profitability through the year. More so, the Group remained focused on sustaining the quality of the bank’s balance sheet, Mr. Phillips added.

“We grew the loan book by a modest N13 billion or USD65 million in the quarter and maintained our decent asset quality metrics , 1.7% non-performing loans (NPL) ratio and 0.4% cost of risk” Oduoza said.

He expressed hope that the implementation of the 2016 budget in Nigeria, the bank’s single largest market, will lead to improved economic activities and business opportunities and he assured that UBA is committed to creating superior and sustainable value for all shareholders by leveraging on its unique Pan-African platform in gaining a fair share of its target markets.

Ugo Nwaghodoh the Group CFO, in his explanation of the bank’s strong performance attributed it to efficiency gains from operations and sales.

“We effectively balanced our growth appetite with profitability, thus creating value. Year-to-date, we achieved a 40bps improvement in net interest margin (NIM), as we recorded a notable 50bps moderation in funding cost to 3.5%. It is my pleasure to report that low cost, savings and current accounts now represent 80% of our deposit funding” Nwaghodoh explained.

He also said that despite a rise in headline inflation to 12.8% in Nigeria, UBA’s focus on cost efficiency initiatives resulted in a 1.2% year-on-year decline in operating expenses.

“This performance reinforces our ability to sustainably create superior return for our shareholders over the medium to long term”

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than eight million customers across 615 business offices 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 and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking service

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Just In: Again, national grid collapses to zero megawatts

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Nigeria’s national grid crashed to zero megawatts (MW) at 10:51am on Monday, causing power outage nationwide outage.

The collapse occurred days after electricity consumers said they had enjoyed improved supply.

The national electricity grid as of 10am on Monday had 3,712MW generated from 21 Generation Companies (GenCos) before it dropped to 0MW one hour after.

According to the information from the System Operations, a section of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), only Afam IV was on the grid but with zero supply as of 12noon.

As of Sunday, the highest generation was 4,100MW while the lowest was 3,652MW with the frequency hovering between 49.04 Hertz (Hz) and 50.34Hz.

Since July 1 this year, consumers said power supply had increased in their various areas.

For instance, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) recently confirmed increment in its daily allocation to over 500MW from the actual 300MW it had distributed before then.

Though the national grid had not cross 5,000MW, Daily Trust observed that level of load rejection especially around the DisCos’ networks had dropped significantly with some customers entitled to five-hour supply, recording over 12 hours daily.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had attributed the improvement in power supply nationwide to the partial activation of contracts that seeks to hold sector operators liable for deliberate incompetence.

The national grid collapsed twice, in July and in August but was quickly restored and power supply improvement was sustained before the latest system collapse on Monday.

According to records, this is the seventh system collapse this year, much more than the three recorded last year.

Although TCN, the national grid manager was yet to establish the cause of the crash, some insider said it could be as a result of a maintenance of the 330 kilovolts Jos – Bauchi transmission line maintenance slated for Monday.

Some DisCos including Kaduna Electric, Enugu, and Kano, had already communicated the nationwide outage to their customers noting that efforts were ongoing to restore supply.

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Police Deploy More Personnel To Seaports In Lagos Over Nigerian Students, NANS’ Protest

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Following the ASUU strike that has kept university students across the nation at home for over seven months, NANS declared “Occupy The Airport” nationwide protest.

The Nigeria Police Force has announced that it has deployed personnel to adequately secure seaports across the nation following a threat by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to shut down commercial activities at the nation’s busiest seaports ¬¬¬¬¬¬- the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports in protest over the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Following the ASUU strike that has kept university students across the nation at home for over seven months, NANS declared “Occupy The Airport” nationwide protest.
The aggrieved students who protested on Monday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport also reportedly threatened to ground commercial activities at the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports in Lagos State.
Disclosing the security beef up to Daily Trust, the Commissioner of Police in charge of Western Port Authority Command, Jonathan Towuru, said security was tightened around the Western Ports to avoid any breakdown of law and order although the student body did not show up as threatened.
The commissioner said, “People went about their businesses while operations at the terminals went on seamlessly, without any hindrance. But if the students eventually turn up, we will engage them in discussions. I must say that they conducted themselves well on Monday at the airport even though you still saw police monitoring the protest.”

 

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Evans The Billionaire Kidnapper Bags 21 Year Imprisonment

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Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Special Offences Court on Monday sentenced kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans, and his co-defendant, Victor Aduba, to 21 years imprisonment for kidnapping one Sylvanus Hafia.

They were accused of conspiring and kidnapping Sylvanus Ahanonu Hafia at about 5:30 pm on June 23, 2014, at Kara Street, Amuwo Odofin in Lagos and were alleged to have captured and detained Hafia and demanded a ransom of $2m.

But they pleaded not guilty to the four charges.

The judge held that the sentence would serve as a deterrent to other aspiring kidnappers

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