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Category Archives: Business

UBA Wins Corporate Citizens Award

Phillips Oduoza, UBA - MD

Pan-African financial services group, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc continue to garner national and international laurels with the latest  being the Corporate Citizens Award in the ‘Extensive Compliance Category.

UBA received the award at the maiden edition of the awards ceremony organised by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria.

The Corporate Citizens Award is open to all registered companies in Nigeria and seeks to promote the culture of good corporate governance in the Nigerian environment by recognising corporate citizens who have conducted their affairs in compliance with statutory requirements and best practices.

“The idea behind this initiative is to recognize performance and reward corporate excellence among companies operating in Nigeria, with the ultimate goal of improving our rating in the global competitiveness index” said Otunba Funso Lawal, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Commission in his remarks at the ceremony.

To be eligible for consideration, companies must have complied with the requirements of the Companies and Allied Matters Act and respective industry statutes and regulations. Apart from impacting on their respective industries positively they are expected to  have performed creditably well in corporate social responsibility.

Specifically the independent panel of judges under the Chairmanship of Dr. Christopher Kolade, Former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, looked at financial management, work place environment, management of stakeholder relations, innovation, corporate social responsibility, industry leadership as well as corporate governance to select winners.  26 companies including UBA made the final list from over 800 companies that were considered and we were one of the 9 winners that eventually emerged.

Mr Olusegun Aganga, Minister for Commerce and Industry, who represented the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan at the event commended all the companies who received award at the event while encouraging those who did not win to  imbibe the best practices of the companies that won. He noted that  the awards will provoke commitment to best business practices among companies in Nigeria and expressed happiness that this is coming at a time the current government’s transformation agenda is blossoming.

Welcoming the recognition to the bank, Phillips Oduoza, Group Managing Director and CEO  UBA Plc said the award reaffirms the bank’s commitment to best practices in the way it does its business across the continent.

“We operate in multi-jurisdictions given that we have presence in 19 African countries and three international financial centres; London, New York and Paris. We are thus committed to higher standards in regulatory compliance in the interest of our stakeholders and  and customers.” Oduoza said.

Skye Bank Appoints Four Executive Directors


The Board of Directors of Skye Bank Plc has announced the elevation and appointment of four new Executive Directors to The Board as part of the overall efforts to uphold the very high standards and tradition of professionalism which have become the bank’s driving force for service excellence and leadership.

The new Executive Directors are Mr. Bayo Sanni, Executive Director, Lagos Commercial Banking; Mr. Idris Yakubu, Executive Director, Abuja and Northern Region; Mrs. Markie Idowu, Executive Director, Technology and Service Delivery Channels; and Mrs. Abimbola Izu, Executive Director, Corporate services.

Announcing the new board appointments, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr. Timothy Oguntayo, expressed confidence that the new directors would further strengthen and reposition the bank for improved performance. He congratulated them on their appointments which he said would take effect in June and July 2015.

Sanni, who holds both Bachelor and Master’s degrees in finance from the University of Lagos, was, until now, the Chief Risk Officer at FCMB where he quickly effected the reduction of the non-performing loans and the cost of risk for the institution.

He started his banking career with Zenith Bank, and had worked in other leading financial institutions, including Citibank and Sterling Bank. His experience in these banks covered various aspects of banking including banking operations, corporate banking, commercial banking, compliance and risk management.

Yakubu who holds a B.Sc Accounting degree from the University of Jos, also bagged his degree in Banking and Finance from the same institution, and an MBA degree from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

With over 25 years of banking experience spanning Fidelity Bank (where he spent 19 years), Yakubu was until his present appointment, the Regional Director, Abuja and Northern Business, Fidelity Bank, where he significantly grew the business both in size and profitability. His experience covers commercial, consumer, retail banking and public sector. He also has significant experience in corporate banking, financial control and tax planning services.

Izu holds the LL.B and LL.M degree from the University of Ife and University of Warwick, Coventry, England and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1987. A multiple award winner as an intellectual prodigy, she is also an alumnus of the Lagos Business School.

A seasoned legal luminary with several years experience in law practice both in private legal practice and in the banking industry, she started her legal career with Bentley, Edu & Co, moving on to Afe Babalola & Co, and Olaniwun Ajayi & Co.

She started her banking career in with the legacy Bond Bank as pioneer Company Secretary/Legal Adviser. She later became the Company Secretary/Legal Adviser for Skye Bank, and was at various times, also anchored the Corporate Communications department of the bank, during which time she led the team in establishing Skye Bank as a household name and a foremost brand in the financials services industry, from a zero brand position.

She currently oversees the Corporate Services directorate which includes Company Secretariat, Legal services, General Services Department, Corporate Communications, and Sustainability and Consumer Protection Department.

Idowu holds a First Class degree in Computer Sciences from the University of Benin, and a Masters degree in Software Engineering from Aston University, Birmingham, and MBA degree from the Lagos Business School.

She has over 26 years banking experience spanning Commercial Banking, Corporate Banking, Private Banking, and Strategic Planning. She had worked as Head, Corporate Banking Group where she positioned the Bank as a major player in the upstream oil and gas and telecoms sectors. Since assuming duty as Head, Technonlogy and Service Delivery Channels, she has significantly improved the bank’s service delivery via electronic and IT platforms.

Tony Elumelu’s Reputation As World Class Biz Man Receives Boost, Set Agenda

Tony Elumelu

The rise and rise of United Bank for Africa Chairman, Tony Elumelu, as world class standard citizen of Africa, sharp quick witted personage and critical analytical minded innovator of fresh concepts was on display last week.

African businessman and philanthropist Tony Elumelu has called on business leaders to make decisions that will increase economic and social wealth, and promote development in the communities and nations in which they operate. Mr. Elumelu, the Chairman of Heirs Holdings and the Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, stated this in a closing keynote speech titled,“Africapitalism as a Catalyst for Development in Africa” delivered at the Oxford Africa Conference, Oxford University on May 22, 2015.

Prof. Peter Tufano, the Dean of Oxford University’s Said Business School, introduced Tony Elumelu to a packed audience at Oxford. Addressing them, Mr. Elumelu discussed what already-established businesses could do to advance Africa’s development through an economic philosophy he calls “Africapitalism” – which focuses on the private sector’s critical role in driving economic and social development across Africa.

“Africapitalism means we cannot leave the business of development up to our governments, donor countries and philanthropic organizations alone,” he said. “We in the African private sector must wake up, recognize and embrace our role in driving the economic growth and the social development of Africa, and we must act on that responsibility in tangible ways.”

The Oxford Africa Conference is a leading annual African conference organized by members of the Oxford Africa Society and the Oxford Africa Business network of Saïd Business School, Oxford University.  The President of the Republic of Ghana delivered the opening keynote of this year’s conference in the morning.‎

Earlier in the week, Tony Elumelu also championed the cause of access to power at the Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL) Global Advisory Board ‎meeting in New York. The board is co-chaired by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim

 “Good governance is good for Africa,” Tony Elumelu said. “Our continent is open for business. There are lots of opportunities and the return on investment is extremely high.”

Africa’s power deficit is huge and may not be cleared in the next couple of years, Elumelu said. “The power sector is therefore a goldmine for investors.”

Tony Elumelu also represented Africa’s private sector in France, on May 20, during a  global business dialogue on influencing the agenda for the 2015 Conference of the Parties (COP 21), the leading annual negotiating summit on climate issues. Mr Elumelu was invited along with an exclusive group of 40 global business leaders, including Jack Ma, the Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, and Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla.

Skye Bank Catches Them Young With Saving Culture


Mr.-Kehinde-Durosinmi-Etti - skye bank

As a way of promoting the savings culture among children, Skye Bank Plc says it has instituted the Skye Rainbow Essay competition for children who operate the bank’s Rainbow Account.

A statement by the bank gave the topic of the essay competition as “the Importance of an early savings habit”, and that it was organised to commemorate this year’s Children’s Day.

The statement quoted the bank’s Head of Retail Banking Group, Nkoli Okoli, as saying that the bank chose to stand out from the others this year by putting in place a special programme for the children to celebrate them.

She said five winners would each receive the sum of N200,000, with others getting consolation prizes.

Okoli further explained that the competition would act as a customer reward programme.

It would promote savings culture among children, she added.

She said the competition was open to both new and existing Rainbow Account holders whose ages ranged between seven and 12 years.

In addition, she said the length of each entry must not be more than 200 words. She, however, warned that any entry which showed parental input would be disqualified.

According to the statement, the essay must show the child’s understanding and good presentation of the topic, personal savings experience and creative ideas for savings.

FCMB Provides Wonderful Oppurtunities For Innovative Businesses

GMD/CEO of FCMB, Mr. Ladi Balogun

First City Monument Bank Limited says it will continue to support the growth of its customers’ business.

The lender said to transform and position itself as a leading retail bank in Nigeria, it had inaugurated a new thematic campaign tagged, ‘A world of opportunity’.

This, it said, followed the recent unveiling of the bank’s refreshed corporate identity, which led to a replacement of its former colours of black and gold with “a vibrant combination of purple and yellow that speaks to a wider audience.”

The campaign, tied to the refreshed corporate identity of the bank, tells stories of life and business aspirations of diverse Nigerians and how the lender supports them to bring such dreams and aspirations to reality.

According to a statement by the bank, the campaign also tells the story of the diverse base of the customers it serves.

The statement said, “The campaign conveys the FCMB’s delivery of great customer experience and service on its channels and electronic banking platform and how it enables its customers through those services to fulfil their life aspirations. It also showcases the new warm, friendly, approachable and energetic brand identity of FCMB and its values as a simple, reliable and helpful bank.”

The Divisional Head, Retail Banking, FCMB, Mr. Olu Akanmu, was quoted as saying, “The new FCMB brand thematic campaign tells the story of the diverse base of the customers that we serve. It does not matter where you are, we support you to fulfil your life and business aspirations. Our convenient electronic banking platforms and best-in-class relationship management deliver great experience to our customers as we support them to achieve their great dreams.”

Akanmu further said, “Nigerians are inspirational and hard working people. FCMB is the bank for all Nigerians, walking with them as a partner to fulfil their life and business aspirations in the true spirit of its brand pay-off line of ‘FCMB – My Bank and I.’”

GTBank Innovates Unparalleled Money Transfer Channel


Guaranty Trust Bank Plc says it has inaugurated another innovative mobile channel which enables its customers to transfer money to both GTB customers and other bank account holders in Nigeria.

According to a statement by the lender, using mobile phones to dial the short code *737* with details of the amount and account number of the beneficiary, customers can effect money transfer in seconds.

The bank tagged the product ‘737 transfer service’ and said it was another offering pioneered by the bank in the financial industry.

The service, it said, was introduced to build on the success of the bank’s ‘One Click Top –Up’ service, which allows GTB customers to buy airtime on their mobile phones directly from their bank account.

The statement quoted the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, GTBank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, as saying, “We will continue to leverage technology to make banking, especially payments and transfers faster, safer and more convenient for all our customers. This service addresses the electronic banking requirements of our customers, irrespective of their phone type.”

The statement added, “The 737 transfer service is only available to GTBank customers via their mobile phone numbers registered with the bank and has minimum transfer limit of N1,000 and a daily transfer limit of N20,000.”

GTB was established in 1990 and has within the last 25 years come to be recognised as one of the most profitable, innovative, service-focused and well- managed banks in the Nigerian financial market space.

Access MD, Wigwe Excited Over Access UK Impression Achievement

herbert wigwe

Access Bank United Kingdom says it has grown its profit before tax by 138 per cent to £5m for the 2014 financial year.

The lender said its operating income also rose by 37 per cent from £10.9m in 2013 to £15m in 2014.

This, it said, reflected the growth in trade finance and asset management activity by the Access Private Bank.

“Assets under management for 2014 were £34m, which is a year on year rise of 12.2 per cent, while total private bank customer funds were £46m, a rise of 16 per cent on the previous year,” a statement by the bank added.

The Nigerian bank’s UK subsidiary said its net interest income grew by 94 per cent to £6.4m.

The bank linked its loan growth to its correspondent banks and customers.

The statement quoted the Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank UK, Mr. Jamie Simmonds, as saying “This has been achieved while still operating within the moderate risk appetite set by the UK board.”

He noted that other new products such as the UK fixed-term deposits were also introduced by the bank in 2014.

Simmonds said, “Our second five-year plan began in 2014 and we achieved our aims and outperformed projections for the year. As at December 31, the bank had a high capital adequacy ratio and liquid buffer assets significantly in excess of the minimum regulatory requirements. It is our intention that these will continue to be maintained at satisfactory levels in the future.
“This has been a transformational year for the bank as we have continued to grow the business based on the firm foundations that we have established and also diversify our income streams to ensure sustainable performance. We believe we have succeeded in the current financial climate where others have failed through our focus on establishing strong relationships with all our customers.”

Meanwhile, the bank said it would sponsor a polo game to raise funds for orphaned and vulnerable children in Nigeria.

According to the lender, the annual programme underscores its continued support for the United Nations International Children Education Fund.

Tagged Access Bank Polo Day, the event will be hosted by Access Bank UK and Access Private Bank.

The bank and Fifth Chukker raise funds for the UNICEF through the high-profile Access Bank Charity Shield polo matches in Nigeria.

The UK subsidiary CEO was further quoted as saying, “Our achievements owe a great deal to the strong partnership that we have with our parent company, as evidenced by our joint support for the fourth Access Bank Day at the Guards Polo Club in Windsor.”

The Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, was quoted as saying, “Our support for the Fifth Chukker UNICEF initiative comes from the fact that we are conscious of our role as a change agent in Nigeria that can help institute socio-economic development through responsible business practice and environmental considerations. We are part of the community and as such should support its wellbeing.”

Wahoo! Diamond Bank Empowers 60,000 Nigerians With 200bn Loans


The Regional Manager, Diamond Bank Plc, Ibadan, Mr. Oluropo Olanrewaju, says the bank has granted about N200bn loans to 60,000 Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises under its BusinessXpress account.

Olanrewaju made this known at the 50th edition of the bank’s seminar held in Ibadan for operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

He said the seminar had provided stakeholders with the requisite knowledge and necessary skills to help them to expand their businesses.

Olanrewaju said, “The seminars are very key to our strategic objective of helping small businesses grow. In 2009, we launched the BusinessXpress account, the first of its kind, which not only offered collateral-free loans to the SME operators but also charged negligible COT. However, we realised that providing funds to the SMEs was just the first step. There was also the need to equip them with the skills and knowledge to manage and grow their businesses so we started the seminars in 2010.”

The spokesman for the bank, Ayona Trimnell, said that the seminar was the bank’s customised training initiative aimed at building and strengthening capacity among new as well as established business owners.

He also said that the training was in line with the bank’s policy to develop a productive capacity that could compete on the global scale.

“The bank is not just eager to provide funds for operators, we are also passionate about building the capacity that could boost economic production and provide employment at the micro, small and medium-scale sub-sector,” he said.

Nigerians Criticize Dangote Over Plot To Buy Arsenal Football Club

aliko dangote

Dangote should put his money into building refinery or floating a new club to make Nigeria and Africa proud. These are critical views of  Nigerians as Dangote, Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has said he is still working towards buying Arsenal Football Club, despite the fact that his bid to acquire a stake in the club was rebuffed by the owners in 2010.

In an interview with Bloomberg, while on a journey from Addis Ababa to Lagos last Friday, Dangote expressed hope that his new strategy would enable him buy the north London club at a price the owners won’t want to resist.

He said, “I still hope, one day at the right price, that I’ll buy the team. I might buy it, not at a ridiculous price but a price that the owners won’t want to resist. I know my strategy,” Dangote, a known fan of the north London club, said.

Dangote is rated to be worth $15.7bn, and has interests in cement, sugar and flour. He is currently investing $11bn in a 650,000 barrel-a-day oil refinery in Ondo State, and $2.5bn in gas pipelines running from the Niger-Delta area to Lagos.

He is positive that his new bid for the control of Arsenal will likely come in a few years after he is done with current investments and have taken his business to a certain level.

“We have $16 billion-worth of investments in the next few years. Right now I want to take my own business to a certain level. Once I finish on that trajectory, then maybe, (an offer will follow),” he said.

Arsenal, who are among the most successful clubs in England, having won the English League 13 times, kept their hope of finishing in second place this season behind league winners Chelsea alive by beating Hull 3-1 on Monday. The Gunners also hope to retain the FA Cup which they won last season after going eight years without a trophy.

Arsenal Holdings Plc., is valued at £988m ($1.49 bn).

American, Stan Kroenke, who is also owner of the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams, and rated at $5.6bn, holds 67 per cent of Arsenal, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Red & White Sec Ltd., controlled by Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri, owns 30 per cent.

If his new bid sails through, Dangote will be the first African owner of a club in the EPL where billionaires like Russia’s Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea, and Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, who controls Manchester City, have acquired teams.

Dangote is among the club’s fans who believe Arsene Wenger, who has managed it since 1996, has done well from a financial standpoint, but was quoted as saying Wenger “needs to change his style a bit. They need new direction.”

FCMB Underscores Importance Of Deposit Mobilisation

GMD/CEO of FCMB, Mr. Ladi Balogun

The lender said its ‘FCMB Millionaire Promo’ was meant to increase economic growth by mobilising deposits from various segments of the economy.

The bank stated these while giving its updates on the promo programme.

According to a statement by the lender, the promo draw has taken place in three regions and 25 zones in the country.

The Bank said a total of 640 customers had gone home with LED televisions, generating sets, decoders, tablets, smart phones and other consolation prizes at the zonal draws held in different parts of the country.

The exercise, it said, was conducted through electronic selection of qualified customers.

The FCMB Millionaire Promo, which commenced in February, will run till July and is aimed at mobilising deposits from all segments of the society.

The bank’s Senior Vice-President, Retail Banking, Mr. Olu Akanmu, was quoted as saying that the existing and prospective customers of the bank were expected to save in any of its eligible accounts for 30 days to qualify for the draws.

Akanmu said, “The Millionaire Promo is to further show our appreciation to our existing and potentials customers by expanding the reward opportunities that the promo offers to them.

“We are happy that the first sets of winners have emerged. We encourage all our customers to partake in this exercise, because it is an avenue for economic empowerment.’’

He also that “the bank’s colours of black and gold have been replaced by a vibrant combination of purple and yellow, which speaks to a wider audience.

“Our logo has also been modified to be slightly less formal and more contemporary, yet retaining a distinctly FCMB feel. At the FCMB, we believe that our future is intertwined with the collective future of our customers. We do not believe that we can succeed if our customers do not. Hence, we will continue to reinforce our position of being an inclusive lender.’’