UBA @ 75: GMD Lauds Elumelu, Stakeholders


The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa Plc, Oliver Alawuba, has hailed the Chairman of the global financial powerhouse, Tony Elumelu, and other stakeholders for the success recorded by the bank in its 75 years of existence.

He spoke at a global press conference in Lagos to mark the beginning of the one-year activities planned for the celebration.

The conference, on Monday at the Tony Elumelu Amphitheatre at the UBA House, also had Alawuba listing some of the firsts recorded by the bank in its 75 years journey.

He said: “It is with great pleasure and a profound sense of pride that we gather here today to commemorate a momentous occasion – the 75th anniversary of United Bank for Africa Plc. 

“As a matter of record UBA commenced operations in 1949 on Kakawa Street, Lagos Island as the British and French Bank. 


“First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge and appreciate all our former Chairmen of Group and Subsidiary Boards, Board Members, Group and Subsidiary MD/CEOs, and staff in various capacities over the years. 

“As we honour our past leaders, we also commend our present and look forward to future leaders who will continue to raise the bar of banking in Africa and globally.

“To this end, please join me in celebrating our current Group Chairman, Board Members, Executive Management and staff across all our subsidiaries.

“Without your sacrifices, contributions, support, and guidance over the years, we would not be where we are today. 

“We appreciate and honour you because you built and nurtured the platform on which we are standing today. 

“Our Group Chairman (Mr. Tony Elumelu, CFR) truly deserves special recognition and mention. 

“Without his visionary push in 2005 and tutelage over the years, I doubt whether we would be where we are today. 

“For these and more, we say a ‘BIG AND RESOUNDING THANK YOU’ to him.

“This milestone is not just a celebration of longevity, but a testament to resilience, innovation, and unwavering commitment to excellence that have defined UBA’s journey over the decades.”

Alawuba said it was important to acknowledge that UBA means different things to different people.

He said of the 75th anniversary: “As we reflect on the significance of this epoch-making event, it is important to acknowledge that UBA means different things to different people. 

“For some, UBA is a trusted financial partner; for others, UBA is a beacon of stability and reliability, a development partner in various local communities as well as a catalyst for African development.”

The GMD listed the mileage recorded by the bank in its 75 years.

Alawuba said: “Since its inception in 1949, UBA has evolved from a modest beginning in Lagos Island to a global financial institution with a presence in 20 African countries and four global financial nerve centres (New York, London, Paris and Dubai).”

He said at present, the bank has over 25,000 staff, more than 35 million customers it serves through multiple channels, over 350,000 Point of Sale terminals, 2,000 Automated Teller Machines terminals, 1,000 Business Offices and 19.7 million card customers.

The GMD said the bank has recorded several firsts in the last 75 years.

He said: “The past 75 years have been marked by stability and excellence, pillars upon which UBA’s legacy stands tall. 

“We take pride in being:

“1. The first Nigerian Bank to offer an IPO: UBA was the first Nigerian bank to offer an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 1970.

“2. The first Nigerian Bank to be Listed on the NSE: UBA was the first Nigerian bank to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

“3. The first Nigerian Bank in the USA and London: UBA was the first Nigerian bank to open a branch in the USA and London.

“4. The first Nigerian Bank to install ATMs: UBA was the first bank in Nigeria to install Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

“5. The first Nigerian Bank to open a campus branch at the University of Lagos

“6. The first Nigerian Bank to open a subsidiary in Africa (Ghana in 2005)

“7. The first Nigerian Bank to appoint a Female Board Chairperson in Nigeria

“8. The first Nigerian Bank to introduce Mobile Banking: UBA was a pioneer in introducing mobile banking in Nigeria.

“9. The first Nigerian Bank to launch a Multi-lingual Chatbot: UBA introduced Leo, the first multi-lingual chatbot in Nigeria.

“10. The first Nigerian Bank to launch the most successful Prepaid Cards across Africa. 

“There are so many other firsts of the UBA Group that time would not permit me to list.

“Amidst economic challenges and market dynamics, UBA has demonstrated remarkable financial strength and resilience. 

“Our splendid performance, especially within the last year, is a testament to our robust fundamentals and sound strategic decisions. 

“As we navigate through the ever-changing landscape, we remain committed to creating value for our shareholders and capitalising on emerging opportunities in the market.

“Innovation and digital transformation are at the heart of UBA’s strategy for future growth and competitiveness. 

“We will continue to invest in innovative products, services, and digital platforms that enhance customer experience and drive operational efficiency. 

“Our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility is strong, with initiatives focused on education, healthcare, entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability, thus making a concrete impact on communities across Africa.”

On the plan of the bank for the future, Alawuba said: “Looking ahead, our vision is clear – to be the role model for African Businesses. 

“UBA is one bank uniting Africa while connecting Africans to the World and the World to Africa. 

“Our primary focus is to be the payment bank for Capital flows, trade and investments between Africa and the rest of the world.

“We are committed to expanding our presence, seizing growth opportunities, and delivering value to all stakeholders. Collaboration and partnerships as exemplified by the $6 billion SME funding agreement signed with the African Free Trade Area will be instrumental in achieving our strategic objectives. 

“We are dedicated to deepening relationships with customers, employees, regulators, and other stakeholders for mutual benefit and long-term success.

“As I round off, I would like to reiterate UBA’s commitment to Customer First Philosophy, which is our primary business strategy. 

“The customer is our employer and the sole reason why we come to work. 

“Our three key pillars of service (People, Process and Technology) are all geared towards the delivery of excellent customer experience, which is our promise.

“As we embark on the next phase of our journey, I urge all stakeholders to continue their support and collaboration. 

“Together, we will write the next chapter of success for United Bank for Africa Plc.”