The Executive Director of Finance and Risk Management for United Bank for Africa, Ugochukwu Nwaghodoh, has said that the banking group would meet the new capital requirement before the March 2026 deadline given by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He stated this on Monday at the 75th International Global Media Conference held at the bank’s headquarters in Lagos.

He said, “The central bank has said that every bank must have N500bn in pure share capital and that was not necessarily related to the existing shareholder funds. Obviously, it will strengthen the banking system and the banks in Nigeria will be able to do a lot more in terms of the economy.

“The central bank gave recommendations on how to achieve this, either by raising additional funds, mergers and acquisitions and you can choose not to raise more funds and step down your license to the level where your current capital can support.

“For UBA, we operate with the highest license around, which is an international licence. We have very strong, virile operations across Africa and centres across the world. We are maintaining this route and we are looking at options. We have engaged financial advisers, and we indeed have set in motion the process to get the requisite approval from shareholders.”

According to Nwaghodoh, the firm will on Friday get the approval of shareholders to enable it raise fresh fund.

“We note, however, that we are committed to achieving this well ahead of the deadline,” he added.

Speaking on the value proposition of UBA to investors ahead of the fresh banking sector recapitalisation, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, noted, “UBA is that bank that investors can look into. In 2023, our capital appreciation was one of the highest on the exchange. For the past two years, our dividend yield has been above 12 per cent and when you look at the bank present in 24 countries, that shows a diversification of income stream but also highlights the unique investment proposition we offer.

“When you invest in UBA shares, you are essentially gaining exposure to the economic potential of 24 different markets. Therefore, it is crucial for us to communicate to Nigerian investors that UBA’s current share price is undervalued, presenting a substantial opportunity for those looking to invest in a bank with a truly global footprint.”

Alawuba projected that the shares of UBA could hit N100 per unit on the stock exchange.

UBA share stood at N 20.9 per unit at the close of Monday’s trading.

The UBA GMD added, “All the subsidiaries in Africa are profit-making and all of them are contributing more than 50 per cent of the gross income of UBA and this trend will continue. So, the vision of going into these countries is paying off and will continue to pay off. We will continue to invest in Africa and deepen our market share.

“Our market share in those countries is improving and if you go to some of these countries, UBA is one of the top three banks and they appreciate the contribution of the bank to their economy.”

He stated that the group would continue to invest in innovative products, services and digital platforms that enhance customer experience.

“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.

“Looking ahead, our vision is clear to be a role model for African businesses. UBA is one bank uniting Africa and connecting Africans to the world and the world to Africa.”

According to Alawuba, the firm’s primary focus is to be the payment bank for capital flows, trade and investment between Africa and the rest of the world.

He explicated: “We are committed to expanding our presence through opportunities and delivering value to all stakeholders. Collaborations and partnerships are exemplified by the recently signed agreement that we have with the AfCTA secretariat, where UBA is putting forward, $6bn for SME funding for Africa.

“We are dedicated to deepening relationships with customers, employees, regulators and other stakeholders for mutual benefits and long term. I would like to reiterate UBA’s commitment to the ‘customer first’ philosophy, which is our primary business strategy. The customer is our employer and the sole reason we come to work.”

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