THE United Bank for Africa plans to extend its presence to six more African countries to bring the number to 25 as part of its continent-wide expansion drive.
Apart from Nigeria, the bank presently operates in 18 other African countries and has reported strong growth in the subsidiaries, which now contribute about 25 per cent of the group’s operating revenue.
The decision to expand into more countries on the continent, including exploring opportunities in North Africa, was taken at the bank’s inaugural Senior Leadership Forum, which brought together the group board members, chairmen and chief executive officers of all the subsidiaries together in Lagos to reflect on the strategic importance and growth potential of the group’s pan-African business.
The Chairman, UBA Group, Mr. Tony Elumelu, said, “We are one bank, the United Bank for Africa. Bringing together our senior leadership talent from across the continent and the distinguished leaders who chair our subsidiary businesses is a powerful demonstration of our commitment to forge one bank for Africa.
“As long-term investors and pioneers in pan-African commercial and investment banking, we are deeply committed to the markets in which we operate and to harness the potential represented by the wider African economy. Our intention is to be the leader in African financial services, and our recent transaction track record show this. We are realising the potential of Africa.”
Some of the transactions, according to him, are the $1.2bn oil financing deal with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Chevron to develop 36 new oil wells that will significantly expand the country’s oil production capacity, and the $315m facility to the Government of Ghana for road projects on the strength of road fund levies domiciled with UBA Ghana.
The group also executed the $250m crude pre-payment facility for the Democratic Republic of Congo-based Orion Oil, representing the largest reported transaction structured by an African investment bank in 2015 involving fresh capital within the African market.
It also facilitated the €234m oil and gas financing deal with Société Africaine de Raffinage of Senegal; $180m to Delta Energy Zambia for the procurement and supply of petroleum products to marketing companies in the country; and S$90m University of Dakar hostel construction project financed solely by UBA Senegal.
The Chairman, UBA Senegal, Mr. Fogan Sossah, was quoted as saying, “We have done a lot but in many senses, we are only beginning to reap the rewards of our network and potential. We are a truly pan-African institution and after a period of consolidation, we know that the continuing expansion of our Africa footprint is a key goal.
“We must ensure that we have presence in at least 25 countries in the near to medium term, starting from the UMOA and CEMAC zones.”