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UBA Group Dominates the 2021 Banker Awards, Wins ‘African Bank of the Year’



uba bank of the year

Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc yet again, reaffirms its leadership position across Africa, as the bank has been globally recognised as the African Bank of the year 2021 by the Banker Magazine, a leading global finance news publication published by the Financial Times of London.

UBA’s solid financial performance, its excellent service delivery to customers and its continuous role of facilitating rapid economic growth across the African continent were some of the reasons that led to the bank being named best bank in 12 of its African subsidiaries and in Nigeria. UBA Nigeria Plc, UBA Benin, UBA Burkina Faso, UBA Cameroon, UBA Chad, UBA Congo Brazzaville, UBA Cote D’Ivoire, UBA Gabon, UBA Guinea, UBA Liberia, UBA Senegal, UBA Sierra Leone and UBA Zambia all came out top as the best banks in their respective countries.

This will not be a first for UBA.  In 2020, six of its subsidiaries in Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Chad, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Zambia were winners of the Best Bank award. This year, the UBA Group is breaking a record with its exceptional wins as African Bank of the Year and Bank of the year in 13 countries.  The total 14 awards makes it the first time ever in the history of the almost 100 years of The banker, that any banking group will be clinching as many as 14 wins in a single year.

At the Virtual award ceremony which was held on December 1st 2021, the Middle East and Africa Editor for The Banker, John Everington, explained at the event that a rigorous and highly analytical process is made annually to reach the decision for each Bank of the Year award and the institution’s reputation for independence, authority and integrity is thoroughly applied to each submission.

“While several African banks impressed the judges this year, there was no doubt as to the worthiest recipient of the Bank of the Year for Africa – UBA Group – a clear winner across a wide range of criteria. UBA has performed impressively across its footprint with a strong financial performance across most of its markets,” Everington said.

UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka, who expressed delight over the recognition from The Banker stated “Like I always say, at UBA, we must be doing something right. Winning 14 total awards in13 subsidiaries and the Bank of the Year on the African continent is a big achievement.’ 

Continuing, Uzoka said, “The recognitions come as a reassurance that we are on track in consolidating our leadership position in Africa, as we continue to create superior value for all our stakeholders. We have our millions of customers across the globe and our many thousands of staff to thank for this. They are the very reason why we keep winning’

Since1926, the Bank of the Year awards has been celebrating the best of global banking and is regarded as the industry standard for banking excellence. The 2021 edition highlights those institutions that have outshone their peers in terms of performance, strategic initiatives and response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Banker Magazine is a publication of the Financial Times – a leading global finance news publication which has been in existence since 1888. The Banker magazine is the definitive reference in international banking for high level decision makers.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-five million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries.

With presence in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail; commercial and corporate banking; innovative cross-border payments and remittances; trade finance and ancillary banking services

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South Korea to pardon Samsung’s Lee, other corporate giants



The justice minister of South Korea announced on Friday that the country’s president would commute the one-year sentence of Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong for bribing a president as part of a huge corruption scandal that brought down her government.

Shin Dong-bin, the chairman of the Lotte Group, and two other prominent corporate figures will also receive pardons, continuing a tradition in South Korea of leniency toward business tycoons and serious white-collar offenses. They are among the 1,700 individuals. On Monday, a national holiday honoring Korea’s independence from Japanese colonial authority at the end of World War II, President Yoon Suk Yeol will grant pardons.

The pardon of Lee highlights Samsung’s enormous sway over a nation that depends on its exports of technology. He was found guilty of buying backing from the government for a 2015 merger between two Samsung affiliates that tightened Lee’s influence over the business empire by bribing Park Geun-hye, the country’s then-president, and a close ally of hers, who were both given longer prison sentences.

On comparable charges of bribing Park, Lotte’s Shin was given a suspended prison sentence in 2018; in December, the then-President Moon Jae-in commuted the sentence. Kang Duk-soo, the former chairman of STX Group, and Chang Sae-joo, the head of Dongkuk Steel Mill, are two more businessmen who will receive pardons.

The pardons of the business tycoons, according to Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon, were intended to “overcome the economic crisis through stimulating commercial activity.” Yoon previously told reporters that his pardons might assist provide struggling domestic livelihoods “breathing room.”

As vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, one of the biggest producers of computer memory chips and cellphones in the world, Lee, 54, oversees the Samsung group. When he was released on parole by Moon’s administration in August of last year, he still had one year left on his 30-month term. The government subsequently defended its choice by citing unnamed worries about the economy and the COVID-19 outbreak.

On charges of stock price manipulation and auditing irregularities connected to the 2015 merger, Lee is still facing a separate trial.

As evidence of Samsung’s sway in a nation where it provides people with smartphones, TVs, credit cards, the apartments they live in, and the hospitals where they are born or die, opinion polls have shown that South Koreans – years removed from the enraged protests that forced Park out of office in 2017 – largely supported granting Lee a pardon.

Lee’s pardon, according to business leaders and legislators, would fully restore his rights to oversee the multinational corporation, enabling Samsung to be more daring and swift in its commercial judgments. According to South Korean legislation, those convicted of serious financial crimes are prohibited from working for five years after serving their sentences.

Critics say Lee has always been in control of Samsung, even when he was behind bars, and pretty much fully resumed his management duties following his parole. Former Justice Minister Park Beom-kye, who served under the Moon government, had defended Lee’s involvement in Samsung’s management following his parole, insisting that his activities weren’t in violation of the five-year ban because the billionaire heir wasn’t receiving wages from Samsung. Park Geun-hye was convicted of a broad range of corruption crimes, including colluding with her longtime confidante, Choi Soon-sil, to take millions of dollars in bribes and extortion from Samsung and other major companies while she was in office. She faced a prison term of more than two decades before Moon pardoned her in December, citing a need to promote unity in the politically divided nation. Chang was released on parole in 2018 with about six months left on a 3 1/2 year prison term over charges that he embezzled millions of dollars in corporate funds and used some of it to gamble in Las Vegas. South Korea’s Supreme Court last year confirmed a suspended prison sentence for Kang, who headed STX from 2003 to 2014, on charges of embezzling corporate funds and other crimes.

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20 Lucky Kids Rewarded with N4m in UBA Kiddies and Teens Draw




Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has rewarded a total of 20 kids with N200,000 each as scholarship grants in its just concluded Kiddies and Teens Draw which held in Lagos on Thursday.

The winners had qualified to win in this year’s first draw because their parents/guardians had maintained standing instructions of N10,000 to their child/ward’s UBA Kiddies or Teens Accounts for a 6-month period.

The draw is an innovative first of its kind initiative conceptualised by UBA with special intention to inculcate a Savings culture that set kids and teens up for a secure future as well as put them on a strong footing for independence and ultimately actualising their dreams.

The virtual draw, witnessed by representatives of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), saw winners emerge from across all the regions of the country.

The 20 kids and teenagers who won N200,000 educational grants were Anderson Andikan Nathan, Salihu Yakubu Mahamud, Simeon Thankgod Ofomona, Nwaeze Annabel Chiziterem, Eva Favour Emmanuga Makuachukwu, Ifechukwudi Divine Ugbeh, Jeremiah Unekwuojo Isyaku, Iyare Francesca Owa and Okoye Gerald Munachi.

Others are Charles-Agwanyokha Salvation Ilamosi; Ngbede Godswill Ishor; Molokwu Ezidinma Kosisochukwu; Nancy Esohe Aigboduwa; Alika Anwuli Erika; Funebi j Tapre; Ebubechukwu Goodluck Ephraim; Uchegbu Benedicta Chidera; Ireoluwa David Aderinola; Njoku Chinecherem Judith and Mariam Odunayo Oyewole.

One of the winners, Okoye Gerald, whose father was contacted over the phone following his winning was very excited and expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the management of UBA for the opportunity; ‘Thank you UBA, thank you,”. “This is very thoughtful coming from the bank. It goes a long way in showing that UBA is indeed passionate and dedicated to the growth of its customers and their children. A bank that grooms the young is indeed a wise bank, he said”.

UBA’s Head, Personal Banking, Ogechi Altraide, who congratulated all the winners after the draw said that apart from the monthly and quarterly rewards that the bank gives to its loyal customers in the UBA Bumper and savings promo, the bank had gone a step further to encourage parents to instil the savings culture on their kids and teenagers.

She said, “I will like to let you know that this is another first from UBA, and of course, we are very excited at this because it again goes to show that we take very seriously the mandate of ensuring financial inclusion and this time, we are catching them young and ensuring that as they grow they increasingly become financially discipline and can fuel their dreams to a happy end, which exactly what we are passionate about as a bank.

Continuing, she said, “We know that the kids today are the future of tomorrow, and we are trying to groom them to imbibe the habit of savings, so that they can achieve their dreams as well as secure their future while putting away something for the future.”

Also speaking during the event, Head of Marketing, Diana Ubah, pointed out that, “our bank, UBA, has continued to show and prove that, we are passionate about the overall growth and success of every customer and that is why we go ahead of others to innovate and come out with initiatives that are unique and can transform the lives of our customers for good.

“She further said, In a tap-and-go society where money is rarely physically exchanged and quicker to spend, it is important to educate young people about the value of money. By including your kids so that they see how you spend money, it will help develop a basic understanding of transactions in the real world, as they grow up in an increasingly digital economy”., Ubah noted.

The UBA Kiddies is an account designed for children between the ages of 0-12 years while UBA Teens Accounts is between the range of 13-17 years. Other benefits of the account include a 13th-month cash reward and special invitation to the bank’s children focused events 

Beneficiaries of this account stand to earn 13 months reward of 10 per cent of the monthly savings plan for over 12 consecutive months having maintained a standing instruction of a minimum of N5,000. They also have a chance to partake in a scholarship scheme through a raffle draw having maintained a standing instruction of saving a minimum of N10,000 for six months. The account has an annual interest of 1.15 per cent payable monthly.

To qualify, parents must have maintained a standing instruction of N10,000 for 6 months in their UBA Kiddies or Teens Accounts.

Altraide advised parents who had yet to open accounts for their kids to do so as soon as possible, to be eligible to participate in the next UBA Kiddies and Teens draw which will be held soon.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-five (25) million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touch points in 20 African countries. With presence in New York, London and Paris, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.

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24 Hours Power Supply: Ikeja Electric Sign Tripartite Agreement with Enaro Energy and Ayobo Community



Ikeja Electric

Ikeja Electric Plc, Nigeria’s leading electricity distribution company, has signed a Tripartite Interconnected Mini-Grid Agreement  with Enaro Energy Limited and Ayobo community, to provide reliable and uninterrupted electricity supply to Ishokan Phase1 Estate, Mercy Land Estate and Mercy Land Phase1 residents in Ayobo, Lagos State.

The initiative is in line with the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission goal of ensuring there is reliable and steady power supply across communities in the country through partnerships between Distribution Companies and Independent Power generators.

The Agreement, which was signed on Wednesday, 3rd August, 2022 at Ikeja Electric’s Corporate Headquarters, Alausa, Lagos, will rely on the Interconnected Mini-grid Initiative of the power sector to provide the customers with uninterrupted power supply. 

Speaking during the signing of the Agreements, the Chief Finance Officer of Ikeja Electric, Seqinah Adewunmi who represented the Chief Executive Officer, Folake Soetan, stated that the initiative is a landmark in the history of the power sector in Lagos State, Nigeria, as those communities will be the first to experience uninterrupted power supply in Lagos State, Nigeria via a blend of grid and off-grid generation and distribution of power. 

According to her, it will demonstrate the possibility that our customers can enjoy 24hours power supply which is in line with the core mission of the Ikeja Electric to be the provider of choice wherever power is consumed. She congratulated everyone that has been part of the process, revealing that the initiative will transform the ways in which electricity is being distributed in Nigeria. She further stated that this initiative will set the pace for bigger things to happen as the plan is to expand to other communities within the Ikeja Electric Franchise area.  

In his remark, the Managing Director of Enaro Energy, Oluwaseun Smith, expressed his appreciation that the project was finally coming to fruition. He added that the journey began about two and half years ago and was glad that all the efforts towards ensuring the signing of the contract was worth it. He stated that Enaro Energy is committed to providing necessary resources to ensure the success of the project.

Speaking on behalf of the communities, Baba Agba Lawrence said that despite initial doubts at the early stages of discussion for this project, they have been impressed by the level of commitment expressed by Ikeja Electric and Enaro Energy. He acknowledged and appreciated the collaboration between Ikeja Electric and Enaro with a final phrase “We sincerely thank Ikeja Electric and Enaro Energy for making our dreams come true”.

He pleaded that the three months agreement for the project to go live should be maintained since they have shared the information with members of the communities, and they are eagerly waiting to see the project kick-start.

The Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer of Ikeja Electric, Ugochukwu Obi-Chukwu, in his comments, stated that with the signing of the agreement, Ikeja Electric and Enaro Energy will commence work in earnest. He mentioned that Ikeja Electric’s technical team will work with their counterparts in Enaro Energy to ensure that the power generators connect seamlessly with Ikeja Electric’s network infrastructure leading to the goal of 24-hour power supply.

Ikeja Electric and Enaro Energy have targeted December 2022 as target go-live date for the initiative.

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