4:42 pm - Wednesday January 19, 4191

Breaking News: UBA wins Africa’s Most Reliable, Global Bank 2021 Award, defeat Financial Institutions in Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania; Q3 2021 Gross earnings hit N490.3 billion in 37% Profit growth …Tony Elumelu receives World’s Lifetime Banking Icon Hall of Fame Award, bank operational in 19 African countries *Banking style, profits, business model; customer service relations and Integrity stands out *Dr. Raphael James, founder of largest Photo Museum in Nigeria with over 36, 000 photos emerge winner, Africa’s Most Outstanding History Preservation Award 2021 *BY EDITORIAL BOARD & Special Reports by GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICA Foreign Editor

Breaking News:

UBA wins Africa’s Most Reliable, Global Bank 2021 Award, defeat Financial Institutions in Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania; Q3 2021 Gross earnings hit N490.3 billion in 37%  Profit growth 

…Tony Elumelu receives World’s Lifetime Banking Icon Hall of Fame Award, bank operational in 19 African countries 

*Banking style, profits, business model; customer service relations and Integrity stands out

*Dr. Raphael James, founder of largest Photo Museum in Nigeria with over 36, 000 photos emerge winner, Africa’s Most Outstanding History Preservation Award 2021

*BY EDITORIAL BOARD & Special Reports by GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICA Foreign Editor

AS NAIJA STANDARD NEWSPAPER turns 10, being a frontline international online news medium in North America,  one of the toughest decisions the Award Selection Committee comprising distinguished members of our Editorial board team and Naija Standard Newspaper Center for Investigative Journalism faced was surfing through the long list of entries of highly rated Africans, successful in their own various careers to be honored with laurels to appreciate their contributions to the service of humanity. These latest categories of award took the committee a period of eight months. Eventually, United Bank of Africa, UBA, wins Africa’s Most Reliable, Global Bank 2021 Award, having defeated financial institutions in Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania. UBA in the third quarter, Q3 2021 acquired a Gross earning of N490.3 billion in 37%  Profit growth. Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu, a leading Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist; who doubles as chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu foundation received World’s Lifetime Banking Icon Hall of Fame Award with a voting score of 1,222,300 from Readers’ Choice. 

UBA stands shoulder tall financially above these following banks in Ghana: GCB Bank Limited, Ecobank Ghana, Zenith Bank of Ghana; Absa Bank Ghana Limited, Agricultural Development Bank, Société Générale Ghana Ltd; Fidelity Bank of Ghana. The underlisted banks in South Africa: Absa Group Limited, Bidvest Bank Limited, Capitec Bank Limited; Discovery Limited, First National Bank, FirstRand Bank – A subsidiary of FirstRand Limited; Grindrod Bank Limited and the largest commercial bank in Tanzania CRDB Bank Plc-all of the banks so mentioned scored below 500,000 votes from the Readers’ Choice.  

Elumelu is known for his Africapitalist business models and philanthropy. He is a seasoned economist, with a long-standing history in the Nigerian banking industry.  During his early career in 2005, he acquired Nigeria’s Standard Trust Bank and afterwards, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), completing one of the biggest mergers in the history of Nigeria’s capital markets. Elumelu retired as Group Managing Director and CEO of UBA in 2010 following the introduction of ten-year tenure limits for bank CEOs by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN).

The services UBA offer are exemplary. This bank style of operation, profits, business model, customer service relations and Integrity stands out from the pack. The company offers various services that endears them to millions of customers within the African continent and beyond the shores of Africa. This is the reason the company has effective banking operational activities in 19 African countries.  

UBA Digital banking products and services on one platform. On the company website, it reads: With our digital banking services, we offer you the choice to access your account anytime, anywhere from your laptop or smartphone. Our business strategy is built on being the bank of choice for businesses across the African continent. Using our extensive spread across the continent, we aim to facilitate inter–and-intra-African trade and also be the pivot for the inflow of investment capital.” 

Personal banking: The company prides itself: “At UBA, we are constantly thinking about you! We create accounts tailored to your individual needs as a valued customer and are constantly developing new products and services to help make banking and life easier for you. 

Business banking: We offer a comprehensive portfolio of corporate and commercial banking services in the Energy, Manufacturing, FMCGs, Export & Import, Telecommunications, Agriculture and Public sectors of the economy, amongst others. SME: We are not just bankers, we are your business partners – we grow with you from the start to the peak.

Strategic Advisory: We aim to facilitate inter–and-intra-African trade and also be the pivot for the inflow of investment capital. Through the maintenance of a quality balance sheet, we will support infrastructural development across the continent and be the lead bank in Africa’s renaissance.”

Large Balance Sheet Size & Strong Liquidity: UBA claims: These enable us to play at the top end of all the markets we operate in. Our balance sheet size means we are always the bank to go to for big ticket transactions across Africa. Our capacity is shown in the many big ticket transactions we have been involved in, either as a stand-alone financier or as a lead arranger in syndication deals. We have consistently played leading roles in arranging finance for critical sectors of the African economy, in the areas of oil and gas, power, telecommunications, and agriculture, amongst others.”

Extensive Spread Across Africa​: Due to UBA presence in many parts of Africa, the company states: “Our presence in 19 African countries means that we can follow our customers and businesses across national boundaries, providing them with all the support they need for their businesses and personal comfort, no matter where they decide to travel, do business or live. We have a strong regional presence, as well as in the three major financial centres of London, New York, and Paris, giving us a unique positioning that no Africa bank can boast of.

“Multicultural, Multilingual Staff​:  We enjoy the distinct advantage of having a multilingual and multicultural operation, with a staff base fluent in the three major global languages, namely; English, French and Portuguese. Therefore, our customers are never at a loss with their transactions in the bank, no matter the language they decide to deal in.

“Diverse Customer Base​: We serve a diverse range of customers across different nationalities, cultures and languages, cutting across all strata of businesses and persons. We are bankers to leading corporations, as well as small business owners. We also serve high net worth individuals (HNIs), as well as retail customers. Strong Public Sector Reputation​: In all our countries of operation, we have a strong working relationship with the public sector, supporting the public sector in its fiscal operations, while also meeting their long-term infrastructure finance needs.

“Experienced Management​: The members of the UBA management team are well-experienced, having long years of experience in the banking industry and beyond. The Management team is also consistently exposed to the best training, both locally and abroad, to ensure that they are always abreast of developments in the highly dynamic banking industry. Strong IT Platform​: UBA has invested heavily in one of the most secure IT platforms in the African banking industry to ensure customer transactions are always safe on the bank’s platform. The bank’s Internet Banking application and Data Centre operations passed the ISO 27001 Certification mark in 2012, confirming the adequacy of the bank’s security platform for online transactions.

“Strong Risk Management​: The extensive nature of the bank’s operations means that UBA adheres strictly to the best risk management practices. UBA currently has one of the lowest NPLs in the banking industry, a testimony to the bank’s rigorous credit risk management process. The bank has in place a strong enterprise management process that ensures that all risks are adequately covered in the bank’s operations. Strong Corporate Social Responsibility:  ​The bank is actively involved in community renewal and sustenance. UBA remains the only bank in Nigeria with a purpose-built foundation with a clear mandate for social intervention in the communities and countries in which the bank operates. The UBA Foundation is funded with one percent of the bank’s profit after tax. The Foundation’s interventions are in the need areas of education, health, human capital development and special projects. Strong Profitability: UBA remains one of the most profitable financial institutions in the African banking space.”

The bank devotes enough space to dwell on UBA Global Investor Services (GIS): It reads: “This is a division (not subsidiary) of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, set up in September 2007 to process securities trades, safe-keep financial assets and service associated portfolios. We act as Custodian to a full range of financial (equity and debt) instruments through a nominee ‘UBA Nominee Limited.’ GIS is backed by the full sovereignty and credit of Africa’s Global Bank – UBA Plc. We are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Central Bank of Nigeria and as well as a licensed custodian on the NASD Plc OTC platform.

UBA GIS is a sub-regional service provider offering custody in Nigeria and the 8 francophone countries namely: Niger, Mali, Togo, Benin, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau and Cote D’Ivoire.

“Customer Service delivery: Courtesy of outstanding and top-notch service delivery, our clientele are always with smiles on their face; this in-turn makes us happy and always ready to do more!

We work with a number of leading financial institutions – the best in the business with growing numbers of clients. Our clients are our partners and our priority. UBA Global Investor Management: UBA GIS is managed by a team of Custody Operations, Investor Services, Corporate Actions and Reconciliation. The team is collectively responsible for the long-term success of this Division. The team’s role is to provide entrepreneurial leadership within a framework of prudent and effective controls. With the steady rise in the banks population and also with the economic situation of the country, UBA has offered detailed annual reports to keep it’s customers intune with the financial progression of the bank. Our business strategy is built on being the bank of choice for businesses across the African continent. Using our extensive spread across the continent, we aim to facilitate inter–and-intra-African trade and also be the pivot for the inflow of investment capital.”

Regarding the company’s Gross Profit earnings, the website read: “Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has announced impressive performance in its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021, recording impressive growth across all its major indices, replicating the commendable performance it achieved in the first two quarters of the current fiscal year. Specifically, the bank’s Gross Earnings rose to N490.3 billion, up from N454.4 billion recorded in September 2020, while Operating income grew by 13% year-on-year to close at N331.7 billion as at September 2021, up from N293.7 billion achieved a year earlier.  In the report filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday, UBA reported a 37% rise in Profit Before Tax to close at N123.4 billion compared to N90.4 billion recorded at the end of the third quarter of 2020,  while profit after tax rose significantly by 36% to N104.6 billion up from N77.1 billion recorded a year earlier, thus putting its annualised return on average equity for Q3 2021 at 19.2% compared to 16.4% recorded in the similar period of 2020.”

Dr. Raphael James, founder of largest Photo Museum in Nigeria with over 36, 000 photos emerge winner, Africa’s Most Outstanding History Preservation Award 2021:

This highly cerebral journalist, author, tourist and renowned biographer is one of Africa’s greatest Ambassadors in that whatever he touches turns to gold. He loves humanity and he is so passionate in living smiles on the faces of the people. This Director General of the Center for Research, Information and Media Development, CRIMMD and the CRIMMD Museum of Nigeria History houses over 36,000 photographs on Nigerian history. The Award Selection Committee were delighted when James was voted 988,000 from Readers’ Choice to have won Africa’s Most Outstanding History Preservation Award 2021.

James is the founder of the largest Photo Museum of Nigeria History. His CRIMMD center manages information; media and political research; including biographical and autobiographical writings; documentations, exhibitions and script editing. He is also the Publisher of African Dame and The National Biographer Magazines. The National Biographer Magazine has interviewed some of Nigeria’s VIPs which includes former Military President Ibrahim Babangida and former President Goodluck Jonathan.  He has written over 68 manuscripts and donated 34, 000 books to schools and libraries. Additionally he runs a free public library and a free skill acquisition for women and widows.

In one of the news reports, James recalls growing up. He had wanted to be a performing artist and he represented Nigeria as a dancer in 1984 at an International Dance Competition. He then switched gears and took up professional boxing for five years. Since completing his educational degrees in Psychology, Journalism, and Conflict Resolution, James has devoted his life to enriching the lives of younger generations through self-funded initiatives.

He has spent his lifetime collecting photographs and uncovering widely undocumented history of Nigeria to give youth an accurate representation of their nation’s history. He donated more than 40,000 books to the public through his library, to help set up other libraries across the country. 

James wants to encourage Nigeria to become a reading nation. He had explained during one of those news earlier reports, “Due to severe shortage of libraries and locally prominent literary figures, Nigerian youth are disinclined to pick up a book and gather knowledge.” His dream is to have a public library on every road in Nigeria. He believes that once Nigerian children start reading, they will be able to express themselves better and less prone to violence. James has written and published 18 books, with 50 more books waiting to be published. Having imbibed his passion for reading and knowledge to his children, his first child became the youngest published author in Africa at the age of 6, after publishing a children’s storybook called ‘Freedom’. She is the second youngest published author in the world, his second daughter has also published a book while she was only 12.

James has also set up a skills acquisition center for women. Since many women in the city are uneducated and have very little employment prospects, they are dependent on men to support them. When left abandoned with their children, many resort to prostitution to feed their families. This great Nigerian strives to empower the women in his community and offers them free workshops on beads production, hair braiding, sewing, soap making, and cooking local delicacies. He is a staunch advocate of shared knowledge and gender equality, which is why he is using his library to ensure equal opportunities for all.

Going by the surging challenge of Covid-19 Omicron virus, the award committee unanimously agreed to put solid machinery in motion and ensure these enviable awards are physically presented to these recipients in their offices in Africa, Europe, United Kingdom and the United States within the first quarter of 2022.

We fully congratulate all the awardees in the various ways they are making Nigeria, Africa and the Black race proud.

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