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UBA Hinges Future Performance on Cost Efficiency, Improved Asset Quality

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has assured its local and international investors that it’s prudent focus on improved asset quality as well as the continuous adoption of strict cost efficient measures will help the bank achieve its objectives and priorities for the 2019 financial year and beyond.

This the bank has said will culminate into an institution with even stronger indices laced with the capacity to churn out strong double-digit growth in annuity-based trade services, enhanced offerings and improved customer service.

Already, the bank has instituted a number of enhanced risk management and control framework which have in no small measure contributed to its financial performances and overall balance sheet growth over the years.

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, who noted this in a submission while presenting the bank’s 2018 full year results during an international investor/ analysts conference call on Thursday, explained that UBA’s well diversified asset book supported by stable funding structure, placed it in a premium position to perform remarkably despite the falling economic indices in its operating environment.

He said, “In spite of slow recovery in economic activities in Nigeria (our single largest market), the Group’s total assets has grown by 19.7%, driven largely by a strong deposit growth of 23%, as the drive for retail deposits continue to yield desired results. Leveraging on enhanced customer service, the Group grew retail deposits by 48%, thus strengthening the funding base and providing the foundation for lower cost of funds in 2019.

“Notably, the growth in balance sheet also partly reflects the impact of exchange rate difference between the reporting dates (2017: N331/USD vs. 2018: N359/USD), as 37% of loans and 27% of overall balance sheet is FCY-denominated. The Group maintained its appetite for a well-diversified balance sheet, with over 60% in liquid, low risk instruments.”

Uzoka explained to the investors that the bank recorded impressive growths achieved across major financial lines, recording a 48 percent year-on-year growth in retail deposits and improved CASA ratio to 77 percent.

In its results for the year end December 2018, UBA gross earnings grew by 7.0 percent to N494.0 billion, compared to N461.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. The Bank’s total assets also grew significantly by 19.7 percent to an unprecedented N4.9 trillion for the year under review

Throwing more light on the financials, he stated that gross earnings grew by 7% year-on-year, despite regulation and market conditions undermined the non-interest income line. Interest income, which contributed 73% of gross earnings, grew by 11%, driven by strong interest income on treasuries, reflecting the low-risk appetite and treasury-led strategy adopted during the year. He noted that the lower non-interest income was occasioned by market condition and regulatory impact on FX trading income, adding that growing volume on FX trading is compensating for lower margin on this business, thus reinforcing our positive growth expectation on this income line in 2019.

While speaking on the strength of the financial institution in the coming years, especially on the back of it’s African and non-African subsidiaries, Uzoka said the bank’s recent foray into key markets and economies remain a milestone that will catapult the institution in the coming years.

He said, “UBA is a unique pan-African franchise with diversified risk and earnings across fast growing African economies with sound governance, risk management and compliance culture which can be seen from our adherence to international best practice. Our robust digital banking platform through which we are leveraging technology to serve over 15 million customers in a cost efficient approach that has helped to deepen African banking penetration.

“We have the strong financial capacity backed by high capitalization (BASEL II capital ratio well above requirement) and strong liquidity, and we have worked hard towards connecting Africa and the world through our presence in key African markets and major global financial centres such as New York, London and Paris.”

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Dangerous Romance! Couple Fall From 9-Storey Building While Having Hot Sex

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A woman has been killed after falling from the ninth floor of a block of flats in Russia while having sex, but her partner survived after landing on top of her.

The woman, aged 30, was found dead at the base of an apartment block in St Petersburg on the night of July 5 during what neighbors described as a wild party.

Witnesses said they saw a television thrown from the window of the flat, after which the woman and her 29-year-old lover plunged to the ground below.

The woman landed head-first on the asphalt and died instantly, local media reported, but the man survived after his fall was broken by her body and nearby bushes.

Witnesses told local media that the partially clothed man then got up and went back to rejoin the party.

Police were called, and when they arrived the revelers allegedly threw a mop out of the windows at them.

Initial reports suggested the woman had been killed by the falling TV, but images from the scene clearly show her naked from the waist down.

After interviewing witnesses, investigators concluded that the couple were having sex on a windowsill when they fell.

Two other men were in the flat when the fall happened, but are not thought to have been involved.

A murder investigation has been launched.

NAN

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CAN Denies Knowledge Of Solidarity Visit, Says COZA Pastors Are On Their Own

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The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has disassociated itself from the purported solidarity visit to Commonwealth of Zion Assembly last Sunday.

In a statement issued on Monday, the National Director of Legal and Public Affairs, CAN, Evangelist Barrister Kwamkur Samuel Vondip, said that the purported solidarity visit and video had nothing to do with the group.

He also stated that the pastors seen in the viral video visited the church based on their personal interest, as he explained that the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, has already constituted a panel to investigate the rape allegation against the Senior Pastor of COZA, Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.

The statement reads;

The attention of the President of CAN, Rev. Dr. Samson O. A. Ayokunle has been called to a report and a video clip going round that Christian Association of Nigeria has sent her officials to Commonwealth of Zion Assembly(COZA) Church to stand by the Senior Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo on the rape allegation against him.

This message is to categorically inform the Christian leaders, the general public and all lovers of truth that CAN or the President of CAN did not approve and knows nothing about such a solidarity visit.

Those who did so did it on their own. We stand by our earlier release on this issue that while we would never support any act of immorality from whatever quarter, we would not jump into passing judgement without thorough investigation of the matter.

The President of CAN is in communication with the President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Rev. Dr. Felix Omobude and has given the right to investigate the allegations to PFN and then revert to CAN. We can tell you that PFN has already constituted a panel that is investigating this matter and in less than two weeks, the outcome of the investigation will come out. We urge all our Christian brothers and sisters to know that this is the position of CAN. We would not spare anyone who is found wanting from facing appropriate disciplinary measures.

We appreciate sincerely the prayers and support of the Christians and all peace loving Nigerians for the Church and the nation.

Evangelist Barrister Kwamkur Samuel Vondip
National Director of Legal and Public Affairs,
Christian Association of Nigeria.
15th July, 2019

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Sanwo-Olu Nominates Tunji Bello, Dele Alake’s Son, Toke Benson, 23 Others As Commissioners In Lagos [FULL LIST]

Peter Okunoren

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has sent the list of his commissioners and special advisers to the Lagos State House of Assembly, with some of the old faces of the previous Lagos administrations and some making their debut.

Among the returnees are Tunji Bello, lawyer, and journalist who was the secretary to the government under the Ambode administration and also a former commissioner for environment under Raji Fashola.

Prince Gbolahan Lawal had served under Governors Fashola and Ambode. His last portfolio was as commissioner for housing.

Engineer Hakeem Fahm was commissioner for ICT midway under Ambode’s administration and is also returning as commissioner.

Segun Dawodu, son of the late prominent Lagos politician, Alhaji Ganiyu Dawodu, popularly known as GOD, is also on the list. He was a commissioner under the Bola Tinubu administration and had stayed with the Tinubu political clan, despite the political differences between Tinubu and his father.

Among the new faces is Tunbosun Alake, son of Dele Alake, Lagos former commissioner for information and strategy. He featured in the campaign for Sanwo-Olu’s election.

The list contained twenty-five names, who are to assume duty as Commissioners and Special Advisers upon ratification by the legislature.

A statement by the Governor’s Deputy Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said Sanwo-Olu carefully picked the nominees based on their cognate experience in their respective professions.

The list, Akosile said, comprised names of technocrats and politicians, who understand the challenges of the state, noting that the painstaking and laborious selection process was aimed at constituting the best team that will serve Lagos in line with the agenda of his administration vision of delivering a city-state that will rank among the top most liveable cities in the world.

The statement said: “We took our time to pick the best hands for the tough job Lagosians have elected us to do. The nominees for the twenty-five Commissioner and Special Adviser positions include women and men who have made their mark and at the zenith of their professional callings.’’

The aide stated further that the current list is the first batch, saying that consultation was going on with regard to the complete number of the cabinet members.

He further disclosed that the new cabinet would be unique, because of its diversity. Quoting Governor Sanwo-Olu, he said Lagos would continue to take the lead in innovation, gender-balance and youth inclusion in the administration of the State.

“We have a blend of youth who are under 40 among nominees for Commissioners and Special Advisers. Women too are well represented in the list. We believe Lagos deserves the best and we cannot give the people anything less than that,” the statement said.

There are 17 men and eight women that will be sworn in as members of the State Executive Council. Also in keeping his promise of millennial’s inclusion, Governor Sanwo-Olu included youths who are in their early and mid-thirties in the list of nominees.

The State House of Assembly is expected to carry out a screening of the nominees to set the machinery of governance in full swing.
Below are names of the nominees:

  1. Mr. Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo
  2. Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo
  3. Prof. Akin Abayomi
  4. Dr. Idris Salako
  5. Mr. Tunji Bello
  6. Mr. Gbenga Omotoso
  7. Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka
  8. Mrs. Bolaji Dada
  9. Mr. Lere Odusote
  10. Dr. Frederic Oladeinde
  11. Mr. Gbolahan Lawal
  12. Ms. Adekemi Ajayi
  13. Mr. Femi George
  14. Dr. Wale Ahmed
  15. Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN)
  16. Mr. Hakeem Fahm
  17. Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle
  18. Engr. Aramide Adeyoye
  19. Mr. Segun Dawodu
  20. Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf
  21. Mr. Sam Egube
  22. Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya
  23. Princess Aderemi Adebowale
  24. Mr. Tunbosun Alake
  25. Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo
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