‘Bank’s support against COVID-19 spread will boost governments efforts’

By Helen Oji |   04 May 2020   |   1:40 am  

Shareholders of United Bank for Africa (UBA) have said the bank’s N5billion support to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic will substantially aid the government’s effort to battle the virus in Nigeria.

Specifically, the President of Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigeria Shareholders, Dr Umar Farouk, who spoke at the yearly general meeting of the bank held virtually by proxy, said the group has played a major role in the struggle to lessen the negative effects of the pandemic across the continent.

He also hailed the 20 per cent increase in dividend for the 2019 financial year. He said: “I am also happy that you fulfilled the promise you made at the AGM last year to pay dividends in Naira and not kobo by paying N1 per 50 kobo shares to shareholders in this difficult time. “We have seen the first quarter results, and we are particularly happy about the performance of our subsidiaries across Africa.”

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UBA Group Chairman, Tony O. Elumelu said: “This was a very special meeting, held in extraordinary circumstances. It was only right at the outset to express the Group’s deep appreciation to all the health workers across Africa, who are at the forefront of fighting the deadly pandemic.”

The Group Chairman also commended the Federal and States as well as governments across Africa, for their rapid actions against the threat.He applauded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele, for his various initiatives in mobilising the private sector to provide support, medical care and palliatives to reduce the effect of the scourge on citizens.

“Our commitment to improving lives in Africa is a long-term one, which we do not take lightly, as we assist governments in Africa to curb this pandemic and help sustain employment across the continent.

“I want to also thank the UBA Board of Directors, who have been responsive in this time of crisis, as the Group donates $14million to assist governments to fight the COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria and Africa.”

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He also thanked executive management and members of staff, as he assured shareholders, that despite the pandemic, UBA had delivered an impressive performance in its just-released first quarter results.

Furthermore, he noted that the Group was well prepared for the crisis, having put in place effective measures to ensure that its operations continue smoothly.

Elumelu underlined the fact that the Group’s exposure to the oil and gas sector was well within prudential guidelines.Also speaking, the Group Managing Director, UBA, Kennedy Uzoka, said: “As you know, UBA is a learning organisation; we are not a Nigerian bank, but a pan-African Bank operating in 20 African countries and also in the UK, the USA, and France.

“When we learnt about this pandemic, we immediately activated our business continuity plan. All the investments we have made over the years in the area of technology will begin to yield now. We have continued to meet the needs of customers in terms of digital patronage, owing to the growing traffic we have been receiving in the past few weeks. We are well prepared for all situations,” Uzoka assured.

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