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UBA Delights Shareholders; Distributes N27.2bn in Dividends

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The shareholders of the pan-African financial institution, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc applauded the Board, Management and Staff at the 55th Annual General Meeting of the Bank, held in Lagos on Friday April, 7, 2017. UBA shareholders approved the payment of N19.9 billion as final dividend for the financial year ended 31st December 2016, in addition to N7.3 billion interim dividend paid after the audit of its 2016 Half Year Results.

The shareholders, who unanimously approved the N0.55/share final dividend on every ordinary share of N0.50 each were particularly impressed by the new Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, who delivered unprecedented results to shareholders at his inaugural AGM. UBA had earlier paid an interim dividend of N0.20/share to shareholders, bringing the total dividend for the 2016 financial year to N0.75kobo, an impressive 25% growth over the total dividend of N0.60/share paid for the 2015 financial year. Furthermore, the total dividend of N0.75/share translates to an unparalleled yield of 14.3% when put in the perspective of UBA’s share price of N5.26 on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as at the close of market on Friday, April 07, 2017.

The Shareholders were excited at the sterling performance of the Group, an impressive 22% year-on-year growth in gross earnings and an outstanding 32% year-on-year growth in profit to N91 billion, in what analysts described as an attestation to UBA’s resilience and enhanced productivity.

Worthy of note to the shareholders is the contribution from the Group’s African subsidiaries, emphasizing its earnings diversification, across geographies which reduces the Group’s vulnerability to macroeconomic pressures in any single market. The Group’s ex-Nigeria subsidiaries contributed 32% of the Group’s profit in 2016, compared to a quarter of profit contribution in the 2015 financial year.

Notwithstanding the challenging operating environment, the Group recorded an impressive 22% growth in gross earnings to N384 billion in 2016, from N315 billion in the 2015 financial year, illustrating the Bank’s resilience and tenacity to generate earnings even in periods of economic slowdown.

The Group further achieved a significant 32 percent growth in profit before tax to N91 billion, compared to N68 billion profit recorded over the same period of 2015. UBA’s profit after tax grew by 22 percent to N72 billion, from N60 billion recorded the previous year.

President of the Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders, Alhaji Farouk Umar, said at the AGM, “It is obvious from the faces of shareholders that all of us are happy with the performance of the bank. We did not expect anything less because we know that that our chairman is an achiever not only locally but also internationally. We have seen the African expansion and its contribution to our earnings and I believe this is also commendable.”

The Group Chairman, UBA Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu, gave credit to the chairpersons of UBA subsidiary Boards across Africa saying ‘these hard working men and women, who chair the Boards across our businesses in Africa, have helped contribute a third of the overall profit of the Group. I believe they deserve commendation. They are strengthening UBA brand across Africa, in line with our aspiration.” He was particularly pleased with the Bank’s new CEO, Kennedy Uzoka. ‘At the Board level, we are extremely pleased by the financial performance that Kennedy and his team delivered in 2016. Kennedy and his team prioritize the Customer and they are diligently executing the Customer First project, which the Board believes will sustainably enhance the performance of the Group’ said Elumelu.

“Our results show the tenacity and enterprise of our Management team and Staff. More importantly is our ability to proactively meet customers’ need. I am pleased that UBA maintains some of the best prudential ratios in the industry, as our capital adequacy ratio of 20% and 39% liquidity ratio are well above the 15% and 30% regulatory requirement respectively. We will be prudent in lending to critical growth sectors of the African economies, as we remain upbeat on the huge banking opportunities in Africa’, he added.

He also used the occasion to commend the Federal Government of Nigeria and Central Bank of Nigeria on their concerted policy actions aimed at reflating the Nigerian economy. ‘I will like to encourage them to continue along this path, which I believe willstimulate the country’s economy in the shortest possible time’.

The Group CEO, Kennedy Uzoka assured the shareholders of a better 2017. “As we further our Customer First Philosophy, we are approaching 2017 with stronger optimism, especially as the outlook remains positive in most of our markets. We are not unaware of the macro economic challenges, competition and constantly changing customer preferences. Rather, we believe we are well equipped to win in the market. We will further sweat our unique Pan- African platform to improve productivity, extract efficiency gains and grow our share of customers’ wallet across all business lines and markets. We will continue to build on our strong governance culture, zero-tolerance for infractions and transparency in furthering our frontiers of leadership in the African market.

United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) is a leading pan-African financial services group with presence in 19 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France.

UBA was incorporated in Nigeria as a limited liability company after taking over the assets of the British and French Bank Limited who had been operating in Nigeria since 1949. The United Bank for Africa merged with Standard Trust Bank in 2005 and from a single country operation founded in 1949 in Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy – UBA has become one of the top providers of banking and other financial services on the African continent. The bank provides services to about 14 million customers globally, through one of the most diverse service channels in sub-Saharan Africa with over 1,000 branches and customer touch points and a robust online and mobile banking platform.

UBA was the first Nigerian bank to make an Initial Public Offering (IPO), following its listing on the NSE in1970. It was also the first Nigerian bank to issue Global Depository Receipts (GDRs). The shares of UBA are publicly traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the bank has a well-diversified shareholder base which includes foreign and local institutional investors, as well as individual shareholders.

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Between Gov. Hope Uzodimma And Imo Hoteliers…….

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Governor Hope Uzodimma has prevented the proposed strike by the Imo Hoteliers Association.

The strike was scheduled to commence on Tuesday but the Chairman of the association, Mr. Chima Chukwunyere announced in Owerri that the strike has been suspended.

Chukwunyere said that the proposed strike was suspended after due consultations with Gov. Uzodimma.

According to him, Uzodimma promised to personally intervene to solve all the outstanding issues raised by the association.

“The governor condemned the actions of sealing and looting of the hotels illegally and directed that no ministry should use consultants in revenue collection.

” He promised to convene a meeting of the executives of the Imo Internal Revenue Service and those of the Nigeria Hotel Association, Imo chapter, to harmonize the demand notice issued to the hoteliers.“

Chukwunyere said that the governor also advised members to pay taxes to enable the Imo government to function and serve the state better.

The association on Sept. 10 threatened to embark on strike over alleged multiple taxations, illegal sealing of hotels, and unprofessional conduct of revenue collectors.

 

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Despite his “expulsion”, ADC presidential candidate, Kachikwu, makes INEC list

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Mr Kachikwu was expelled from the party last Friday by the Ralph Nwosu-led NWC.

The embattled presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Dumebi Kachikwu, has been named among candidates validly nominated by political parties for the 2023 presidential election despite his “expulsion” from the party.

Mr Kachikwu was among the 18 presidential candidates approved by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday.

The Ralph Nwosu-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party announced the expulsion of Mr Kachikwu from the party last Friday for alleged anti-party activities.

He was expelled along with seven other key party leaders following the recommendation of a seven-member disciplinary committee earlier set up by the ADC NWC. The NWC had earlier on 2 September placed the presidential candidate on suspension.

Mr Nwosu, in a statement issued late Friday, said the disciplinary committee found Mr Kachikwu guilty of allegations of gross misconduct, and gross violations of its constitution, among others.

But in its reaction the following day, the interim leadership of the ADC dismissed Mr Kachikwu’s purported expulsion.

The interim National Chairman of the Party, Patricia Akwashiki, in a statement, described the action of the erstwhile chairman, Mr Nwosu, as the antics of a sinking man clutching at straws.

The crisis rocking the ADC has its genesis in the call for the resignation of the national chairman by 27 state chairmen of the party, having spent 17 years in the office.

At the time of filing this report, we could not confirm if the party’s leadership had made formal or legal requests to the commission to remove the candidate from the list.

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Stella Obasanjo’s brother, John Abebe, arraigned for fraud

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Dr. John Abebe, the younger brother of a former First Lady, Stella Obasanjo, was on Monday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday before the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja over allegations of fraud.

Abebe was arraigned alongside a former Head of Firstbank Plc, United Kingdom Correspondent Office, Kamoru Alade Oladimeji, before Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe on six charges of conspiracy, stealing, and obtaining money under pretence.

Part of the counts against the defendants read: “That you, Dr. John Abebe and Kamoru Alade Oladimeji, on or about the 4th day of June 2013 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; stealing the sum of N120 million worth of property of Arsenal Technologies Limited.”

“That you, Dr. John Abebe and Kamoru Alade Oladimeji, on or about the 4th day of June 2013, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; obtaining by false pretence the sum of N120 million property of Arsenal Technologies Limited under the pretence that your property lying being and situate at 9, Magbon Close, Ikoyi-Lagos State, which you pledged as the security to the Arsenal Technologies Limited was unencumbered, which representation you knew to be false.”

“That you Dr. John Abebe and Inducon Nigeria Limited, on or about the 4th day of June 2013, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud and to gain for yourself the sum of $1,000,000.00 or its Naira equivalent from Arsenal Technologies Limited by false pretence to procure the execution of valuable security to wit; a deed of assignment between Inducon Nigeria Limited and Arsenal Technologies Limited, wherein you falsely claimed that the property lying being and situate at No. 9, Magbon Close, Ikoyi-Lagos was unencumbered and that you have full powers to assign and transfer the said property to the assignor; Arsenal Technologies Limited.

According to EFCC, the offences committed are contrary to Sections 280(1), (12), 8 (7), 285(1) and 278(1)(b) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Following their plea, the prosecutor, Sulaimon urged the court to fix a trial date and to remand the defendants in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services until the hearing and determination of the charge.

However, the defense counsel, Anthony Popo and Sam Etaifo urged the court to grant their clients bail in the most liberal terms.

While moving the bail application on behalf of Abebe, Popo told the judge that the matter before her is a commercial transaction between the first defendant and the nominal complainant, which he is ready to settle out of court.

He also claimed that Abebe had paid back the sums of $100,000 and N30 million to the complainant and had also deposited the title document of 26 acres of land and the documents of a property in London to show his seriousness to resolve the matter.

The lawyer further submitted that the defendant would not jump bail since he never violated the terms of the administrative bail granted to him by the EFCC.

The prosecutor did not oppose the application but urged the court to impose stringent terms that will ensure the defendant’s appearance in court for their trial.

In her ruling, Justice Abike-Fadipe granted the first defendant bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety in like sum.

She directed that the surety must be a resident of Lagos and must deposit the title document of a land property whose value must not be less than N20m

The judge also admitted the second defendant to bail in the sum of N10m with one surety in like sum, who must be a resident of the state.

Justice Abike-Fadipe further ordered that the defendant shall continue to enjoy the administrative bail earlier granted to them by the EFCC but if they failed after seven days to perfect the terms of the bail she granted them, they shall be arrested and remanded in prison.

She adjourned the case to December 6 for commencement of trial.

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