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Your Funds are Safe in Banks, CBN Assures Depositors

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has assured depositors and customers of Nigerian banks of the safety of their funds in the banks.

The Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department of the CBN, Mrs Hakama Sidi-Ali, gave the assurance in a statement on Wednesday.

According to Sidi-Ali, the assurance was informed by reports about a recommendation for the Federal Government to take over some CBN-supervised financial institutions.

Reports says that there have been unconfirmed reports by some media outlets about plans by the CBN to take over Titan Trust Bank (former Union Bank) and Keystone Bank.

This is allegedly linked to a report by Mr Jim Obazee, CBN’s special investigator, that former governor of the apex bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, used his proxies to acquire the two financial institutions.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Nigerian banks remain safe and sound.

“The CBN encourages the public to continue their regular activities without being alarmed by reports that have not
emanated from the CBN about the health status of Nigerian banks.

“The CBN is fully equipped to carry out its statutory duty of upholding a stable financial system in Nigeria.

“We assure the general public and depositors about the safety of their funds in Nigerian financial institutions,” she said.

She advised bank customers to proceed with their banking transactions as usual, as there was no cause for concern. (NAN)

Business News

Geregu Power Earns N50.4bn From Electricity Sales, Capacity Charges 

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

Geregu Power Plc has generated N50.4bn on electricity sales and capacity charges to Nigerians in the first quarter of 2024.

The power company which is the first listed power company of the Nigerian Exchange Ltd disclosed the performance in its Q1, 2024 financial statement.

The company grew its Q1 revenue by 225 per cent from N14.

2bn in 2023 to N50.
4bn in 2023.

A breakdown reveals that Geregu Power sold energy worth N31bn and received N19bn as revenue from capacity charge.

Recall that the power company posted an annual revenue of N82.9bn in the full year of 2023 but it has covered half of the amount in Q1.

The revenue was above the company’s forecast for Q1 2024 when it projected its revenue to rise to N31.24bn.

Geregu Power recorded a profit before tax of N21.9bn up from the N5.3bn recorded in Q1 of last year, reflecting 307.8 per cent growth.

During the period underreview, the company saw its profit after tax rose by 307.3 per cent to N14.46bn from N3.54bn recorded in Q1 of last year. In the full year 2023, the company made N16.1bn net profit.

The net profit was above the company projection of N5.5bn. 

Geregu Power took an income tax charge of N7.43bn, up from the N1.8bn in Q1 2023. The tax charges were higher than the N2.7bn projected for Q1 2024.

The company also spent N21.5bn on the cost of sales involving gas supply and transportation, up from the N6.6bn spent on gas supply and transportation in Q1 2023.

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Economy

Afreximbank, Govt. of Bahamas Sign Host Country Agreement

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African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas on Thursday signed the Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM) Host Country Agreement.

The signing ceremony was held during a media briefing on Thursday in the Bahamas.

NAN reports that the 31st AAM2024 will be hosted in Nassau, Bahamas, from June 12 to 15, 2024 with the theme “Owning Our Destiny: Economic Prosperity on the Platform of Global Africa.

Philip Davis, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, in his remarks, said the signing ceremony was an important boost for the Bahamas and Africa and the Caribbean (AfriCarabian) visions.

“It is with immense pride that we officially sign the agreement for the Bahamas to host the AAM in June.

“Our ancestral history is marked by strength in the face of adversity, duty and creativity amid scarcity and the pursuit of self-determination.

“Our dreams, hopes and aspirations are encapsulated in this moment as we look forward to a future where Africa and the Caribbean stand shoulder to shoulder not just in solidarity but for economic collaboration for mutual prosperity.”

Davis said the AAM2024 meeting in the Bahamas was a symbol of what Africa and the Caribbean could accomplish through duty and collaboration.

“ In today’s world amid economic and environmental challenges, instead of building more walls, we choose to build bridges of trade, innovation, financial integration and most importantly bridges connecting our people and culture.

He said the Bahama’s commitment to the mission was underscored by the preparations underway to ensure the AGM stood as a forum for dialogue and impact deliberations and collaborations.

“ We are setting the stage for discussions to aid us in navigating the challenges of our times which include inclusivity, and the digital transformation of our economy.

“For the bank and our partners, we extend our deepest gratitude for entrusting us with the honour of hosting this significant event.

“Together we are celebrating the spirit of partnership, economic union of dreams, dreams of our ancestors and dreams of future generations that we pledge to realise through unity, collaboration and mutual respect.”

Davis said that in November 2022 The Bahamas and  other Caribbean countries signed an agreement with AFreximbank to forge a future for the advancement of the African and Caribbean people and their economies.

The prime minister said Afreximbank’s commitment to expanding operations in the Caribbean was seen in its establishment of the Caribbean Africa Bank, adding that it was an example of potential for development in the region.

“ As we come for the meetings, it will be remembered for the decisions made and agreements signed but also more significantly as Africa and the Caribbean came together for a better future,” he said.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman Board of Directors, Afreximbank, said the signing of the agreement would solidify the partnership between Afreximbank and the Caribbean.

Oramah said the partnership would form a platform for global Africa to take its destiny into its hands.

He said he was grateful to the prime minister, the government and the people of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas for the honour of agreeing to host the AAM2024.

“ By holding the 31st AAM, we collectively make a strong commitment to elevating the collaboration between the Afreximbank, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the entire Caribbean region to a higher pedestal.

“It bears testament to the depth of your government’s appreciation of the importance of our unique partnership in catalysing shared growth and prosperity for all of Africa and the Caribbean.

“It affirms commitment to ensure inclusiveness and bring the bank’s services to the doorsteps of the people.

“Bringing the meeting to the Caribbean also offers us the opportunity to celebrate the progress we have made so far between Africa and the Caribbean.”

Oramah said the bank was working with the government of the Bahamas to develop an Afro-Caribbeann marketplace in the Bahamas.

He said, when completed, it would be a permanent marketplace that would house manufacturing warehouses, and be a distribution and logistic hub for various tradable merchandise that Africa and the Caribbean would produce.

“It will finally establish the Bahamas as a gateway into the Caribbean and we hope the government will work with us diligently to bring this project to completion.”

Oramah said no fewer than 4,000 participants were expected at the AAM2024 adding that the opening ceremony would be held on June 13, which would be attended by Heads of State and Heads of governments.

He said others in attendance at the meetings would be African/Caribbean leaders and senior government officials, African and non-African policymakers, corporate leaders, bankers, academics and other thought leaders.

Oramah said there would be keynote presentations by policymakers and economists and a dedicated session to showcase trade and investment opportunities in the Caribbean and the Bahamas as well as sessions on youths, innovations and the creatives.

He said the 3rd Annual AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2024) will be incorporated into the AAM2024. (NAN)

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Economy

Full Year 2023: UBA Gross Earnings Rises by 143% YoY, Profit Hits N758bn

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In another unprecedented performance, Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has released its audited financial results for the full year ended December 31, 2023, showing exceptional and impressive performance across all its major indicators. 

The 2023 financials, filed by the Bank at Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGx) on Monday, showed an impressive leap in gross earnings, as it grew from N853.

2 billion recorded at the end of 2022 to close at N2.
08tn; representing a strong 143 percent growth.

The banks’ total assets also rose remarkably by 90.22 percent, doubling the N10 trillion mark, to close at N20.65 trillion in December 2023; up from N10.86 trillion in 2022.

This leap remains a very significant achievement and milestone in the history of the financial powerhouse. 

Despite the highly challenging global economic and business environment, UBA recorded a laudable profit before tax, with an exponential growth of 277 percent, to close the year under review at N758billion, rising from N201 billion recorded at the end of the 2022 financial year; while profit after tax (PAT) grew by 257 percent from N170 billion in 2022, to N608 billion in the year under consideration. 

Consequently, UBA Group Shareholders’ Funds rose from N922 billion as at December 2022 to close the 2023 financial year at N2.0tn, achieving an impressive growth of 120.2%, compared to prior year.

In the year under consideration, UBA Group cost-to-income ratio dropped from 59.2%, in 2022, to 37.2 per cent pointing at the Group’s improving efficiency.

In fulfilment of the promise made by the UBA Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, to shareholders at the last Annual General Meeting, the Bank proposed a final dividend of N2.30 kobo for every ordinary share of 50 kobo, for the financial year ended December 31, 2023. The final dividend is subject to the ratification of the shareholders during its upcoming annual general meeting (AGM).

Also worthy of note, UBA recorded a 61.3 percent growth in loans to customers, moving up to N5.5 trillion in 2023, whilst customer deposits improved by 90.31 percent to N14.9 trillion, compared to N7.8 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2022, reflecting increased customer confidence, enhanced customer experience, successes from the ongoing business transformation programme and the deepening of its retail banking franchise.

Commenting on the results, UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, said: “I am very pleased with the unprecedented results achieved by our Group in FY2023. The Group made a profit before tax of N758billion, from N201 billion in the prior year. The balance sheet also grew to N20.7trillion from N10.8trillion in the previous year.

He said, “The Group’s shareholder’s funds crossed N2trillion from N922bn in 2022, whilst total assets crossed the N20 trillion mark (90.2% YoY growth). The Group is well positioned for further business expansion in FY2024 having closed FY2023 with Capital Adequacy Ratio of 32.6%.”

He added that the bank’s diversified business model (Pan-African and International strategy) is justified by the contribution of its Ex-Nigeria business to the Group’s results and reinforces its resolve to expand our market share of customers, funding, digital and transaction banking businesses across Africa. 

“Driven by our customer service and execution-led delivery model, we will continue to expand our market share and create value for our shareholders and meet the expectations of our various stakeholders,” the GMD stated.

UBA’s Executive Director, Finance & Risk Management, Ugo Nwaghodoh, said the 2023 full year was a particularly eventful year, with galloping inflation and currency depreciation ravaging key markets, amidst pockets of regional conflicts and security challenges.

“I am delighted however at the strong growth in earnings and profitability recoded in the year. The Group conservatively set up significant impairment reserves against its overall risk assets portfolio considering the latent impact of the macroeconomic headwinds on our credit portfolio. Consequently, Cost of Risk grew to 3.09% from 0.63% in the prior year,” Nwaghodoh noted.

On the expectation for the 2024 financial year, he said, “The Group remains fervently committed to sustainable growth and maintaining its strong compliance and risk management practices culture even as we drive our business through the next phase of growth.”

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than thirty-five (35) million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touch points in 20 African countries. With presence in New York, London, Paris and Dubai, 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.

Ramon​​​​   Nasir

Head, Media & External Relations

United Bank for Africa Plc

UBA House, 57 Marina, Lagos Island, Lagos ,  Nigeria

DL: +234-1-2807405  |  Ext: 18405

Mobile: +234-7034145044

E‑mail: ramon.nasir@ubagroup.com

Website: www.ubagroup.com

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  Instagram  |  YouTube  |  UBA Blog

…Africa’s Global Bank

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