Shareholders of Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, have praised the board, management and staff of the Bank on the impressive performance recorded over the past years and especially in 2023, culminating in the payout of N78.7bn as final dividend for the 2023 financial year.

The shareholders took turns to express their delight during the bank’s 62nd Annual General Meeting which was held at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hotels in Abuja on Friday.

The shareholders overwhelmingly approved the Board of Director’s proposal to raise additional capital through the issuance of securities comprising ordinary shares, preference shares, convertible and/or non-convertible notes, bonds or any other instruments in the Nigerian and/or international capital market.

Addressing shareholders at the event, the Group Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu, appealed to shareholders to participate fully and re-invest their dividends in the bank’s recapitalisation drive as this will ensure that they continue to enjoy even higher returns from their investments.

He said, “I call on you shareholders to re-invest a substantial part of your dividends in our rights issues which will be announced soon, as we will be giving you the first opportunity to own a share in all the countries where we operate, I am advising shareholders, as you get your dividends, reinvest a significant part of it.

As for my board members and I, we would be investing 100% of the dividends we get, because If we don’t do so, it means we would be leaving food on the table for others who did not labour for it,” Elumelu stated.

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In the year under consideration, UBA had declared an interim dividend of N17.1bn representing a pay-out of 50kobo per share for the first half of 2023, thus bringing the total dividend for the 2023 financial year to N95.8bn, representing N2.80 per share.

Surprisingly and in another first, dividend payouts were received while the meeting was still on just seconds after the resolution on dividend payments were passed at the meeting by the shareholders, resulting in open excitement from the shareholders.

They also commended the bank’s management over the impressive performance for the 2023 financial year, which resulted in the large payout of dividend to its investors, and highlighted its thriving business in its African subsidiaries, which continues to contribute significantly to the Group’s total income.

Alhaji Mukhtar Mukhtar, one of the shareholders who spoke at the meeting, commended the Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, and the Group Managing Director, Oliver Alawuba, for their concerted effort towards ensuring that the performance of the bank reached unprecedented heights in the year under consideration.

He said, “I want to specially commend the management and Board of UBA, especially the Chairman, Tony Elumelu and the GMD/CEO, Oliver Alawuba, who have been managing activities of this great institution over the past few years.

“We are impressed at the results that you have recorded so far, how you have managed to maintain a well-structured balance-sheet and diversified balance sheet with total Assets growing to over N20trn.

The achievement that the bank has recorded under your leadership, especially the sterling contributions of our subsidiaries in Africa deserves accolades,” Muktar stated.

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Another shareholder, Patrick Ajudo, also commended Elumelu for keeping the promise made to shareholders a few years ago to begin to pay increased dividend.

“Our Chairman, Tony Elumelu, promised shareholders a few years ago in this same hall, that he will move from ‘kobo-kobo’ dividends to naira dividends, and he has kept that promise.

….We are very excited, because, not only have you kept that promise, but you have backed it up by even matching the industry standards. Indeed, we are proud to be associated with such a brand that has integrity, and we highly commend you for this,” he stated.

Barrister (Mrs) Adetutu Siyanbola, another shareholder, took time to commend the bank’s management for its operations over the decades, especially as it celebrates its landmark 75th year anniversary, praising the gender balance and high female representation on the bank’s board, which according to her, is a feat worth emulating by other financial institutions in Africa.

While commending the GMD for wining several awards in the 2023 financial year, she expressed satisfaction that the bank did not incur any penalty in the year under consideration, which meant that UBA had zero infractions and didn’t run foul of any regulations.

At the end of the 2023 financial year, UBA recorded an impressive leap in gross earnings, as it grew from N853.2 billion recorded at the end of 2022 to close at N2.07tn; representing a strong 143 percent growth; total assets also rose remarkably by 90.22 percent, to close at N20.65 trillion up from N10.86 trillion in 2022.

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Profit before tax, also grew exponentially by 277 percent, to close at N758billion, up from N200.88 billion recorded in 2022; while profit after tax (PAT) grew by 257 percent from N170.2 billion in 2022, to N607 billion.

The Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Oliver Alawuba, explained that despite being a year of significant geopolitical and economic challenges, UBA’s strength, the effort and dedication of the team, and its leadership in strategic areas such as innovation and sustainability, helped the bank to grow in a profitable and sustainable manner.

Looking ahead, he said, “The outlook is great because we are diversified. Our African subsidiaries contributed over 55% to the bank’s profit this year, and we will do more. Already, the Bank entered 2024 from a position of strength, with proven resiliency, a powerful brand and a strong capital position.

“As we begin 2024, “execution” will continue to be on the front burner, with an unrelenting focus on market leadership and excellent customer experience at all touch points,” Alawuba explained.

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