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UBA: Customer base in Africa now 45m, depositors’ funds N18trn

UBA: Customer base in Africa now 45m, depositors' funds N18trn UBA: Customer base in Africa now 45m, depositors' funds N18trn

United Bank for Africa (UBA) says its depositors’ funds have hit a record N18 trillion with about 35 million customers across African countries.

Oliver Alawuba, UBA’s group managing director (GMD), spoke on May 20 during the global press conference of the bank’s 75th anniversary in Lagos.

According to Alawuba, these figures are increasing daily due to the support provided to key sectors in Africa to ensure the success of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“We are committed to developing Africa. We are committed to supporting the key sectors that are pushing African economies wide and it is showing, even in our performances and in our businesses,” Alawuba said.

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“If you look at our accounts, you will see that our performance has continued to improve, reflecting clearly what we are doing.

“Today, the deposit position of UBA is about 18 trillion. Today, our share of those funding is 2 trillion.

“Today, you will see that our customer base is moving up to 45 million customers across Africa and these are growing on a daily basis based on the businesses and we don’t just support these businesses, we support all the value chains that are tied to these businesses, so that SME business will continue to thrive.

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“Because we recognise, SME is the future of Africa, and we continue to provide support for SME businesses in Africa.”

Speaking on the infrastructure funding gap in Africa, Alawuba said UBA’s strategy focuses on the countries where it operates, supporting the key sectors that drive their economies.

He said this includes the agricultural sector, telecommunications, power sector, and the construction of roads and ports.

“The infrastructure gap in Africa is a lot but that lies the opportunity that we have in Africa,” he said.

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“In some of the countries, we have done a lot in terms of road infrastructure support, building of ports, and improving the capacity of ports in taking goods.

“In some of the countries, we have even done as much as dealing with stadiums. In some of the countries, some of the stadiums where the matches of AFCON was played, were actually supported by UBA.

“In some, we have built their capacity for revenue generation in terms of technology, to ensure that the governments have enough funding to support the business of the day.

“Our support to African economies is across sectors, depending on what is the critical sector that is driving those economies.

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“Today, we are supporting mining in several countries in Africa. We are supporting cotton. We are supporting cocoa. We are supporting cashews in several countries, depending on what the country is built on.”

‘WE’LL CONTINUE TO INVEST IN AFRICA AND DEEPEN OUR MARKET’

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Alawuba said UBA’s African subsidiaries are generating profits, contributing over 50 percent of the gross income of the bank.

He said UBA’s strategic expansion into African countries is proving successful, and the bank’s management plans to keep investing in Africa.

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“I would like to give you a positive news that all the subsidiaries in Africa are profit-making and all of them are contributing more than 50 percent of the gross income of UBA and this trend will continue,” Alawuba said.

“So the vision of going into these countries is paying off and we will continue to invest in Africa.

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“Indeed, it is United Bank for Africa and we will continue to invest in Africa. We will continue to deepen our market.

“Our market share in those countries is improving. In fact, if you go to some of the countries, UBA is the number one, number two, number three bank in these countries and some of them are appreciating the contributions of UBA to the economy, which have been very impactful.”

Alawuba said UBA’s primary focus is to move businesses between Africa and the rest of the world.

According to the GMD, Africans are doing less with each other and more with others hence, the need to encourage inter-Africa trade.

“So it will be easier for you, a manufacturer in Nigeria, to find a market in Ghana, or a Ghana manufacturer to find a market in Senegal. You need a bank that will put all this together and that is what UBA is doing,” he said.

Alawuba said the bank is collaborating with various partners to enhance inter-African trade in the coming years.

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