...Will be back in Nigeria on Sunday
Chief Anthony Akhakon Anenih, former chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, who was on Wednesday morning, reported dead by an online news media,(not huhuonline.com), has declared that he is “hale and hearty.”
In a terse message to our correspondent, Chief Anenih, said, “ I am hale and hearty, I am currently in London. I will be back in Nigeria on Sunday by God`s grace”
...Group Chairman Elumelu reconfirms Africa network as strategic priority, pledges further capital for African growth
The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group recently held its first ever Senior Leadership Forum reflecting the strategic importance and growth potential of its pan-African business. UBA Group Chairman Mr. Tony O. Elumelu convened the Forum to review the impressive growth that the bank’s African network had made over the past 11 years and to provide a platform to reaffirm and embolden its strategic goals.
The Forum brought together 90 participants, including the entire Board of UBA, all Chairmen and all CEOs of UBA subsidiaries across Africa and the United Kingdom. It was timed to coincide with UBA’s Annual General Meeting and Group Board Meeting.
“We are one bank, the United Bank for Africa", Mr. Elumelu said as he opened the Forum. “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, may I say, pioneers in pan-African commercial and investment banking, we are deeply committed to the markets in which we operate and to harnessing the potential represented by the wider African economy. Our intention is to be the leader in African financial services, and our recent transactions show this. We see clearly the potential of Africa” said Mr. Elumelu.
UBA subsidiaries operate in 18 African countries and now contribute more than 25 per cent to Group operating revenue. UBA is increasingly recognized as a strong pan-African brand, hailed for democratising banking in its countries of operation whilst participating in landmark financial transactions, including:
- A USD$1.2 billion oil financing agreement with NNPC and Chevron where UBA provided funding for Chevron and NNPC to develop 36 new oil wells that will significantly expand Nigeria’s oil production capacity
- A USD $315 million facility to the Government of Ghana for road projects on the strength of Road Fund levies domiciled with UBA Ghana
- A US$250 million Crude pre-payment facility for 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.
- A 234 million Euro oil and gas financing deal with Société Africaine de Raffinage (SAR) of Senegal, which underscored its capacity to fund big ticket transactions across Africa
- A USD $180 million to Delta Energy Zambia for the procurement and supply of petroleum products to marketing companies in Zambia
- A USD$90m University of Dakar hostel construction project financed solely by UBA Senegal – African capital, building African infrastructure for African education
“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 this 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,” said Mr. Fogan Sossah, Chairman of UBA Senegal during the Forum.
In keeping with the objective of creating an institution worthy of the patronage of clients and the trust of regulators and governments, the three day forum focused on the critical issues and drivers for success across the continent. Seminars were held on Corporate Governance, Corporate Institutionalisation, Board Effectiveness, Compliance, Accountability and more.
Speaking on the breadth and depth of the Forum’s individual sessions, Mrs. Gisele Mudiay, Chairman of UBA Democratic Republic of Congo said: “! Our aspiration for the next five years is to pool knowledge of our individual operating environments and leverage that knowledge to help our customers realize their business goals.”
Noting the difficulties that exist in operating in the diverse economic environments across the African continent, Mr. Ekoto Mukete, Chairman UBA Cameroon said: “While we operate in challenging business environments, we benchmark ourselves against global standards, which means we are able to add real value to our stakeholders. This forum has ensured that we are an army of one, working in each corner of Africa and driving toward one common goal.”
The approval of additional injection of capital into its East African subsidiaries in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania was communicated at the forum as the group re-affirmed its committment to growth in its countries of operations across the continent.
Commenting on the importance of consolidating pan-African financial expertise and exporting the successful Nigerian model, incoming Group MD/CEO and previous head of UBA Africa, Kennedy Uzoka said: “I have experienced the potential of our pan-African businesses. I know that we can and I commit to ensuring our leadership across Africa. The Senior Leadership Forum reaffirms UBA’s ambition to be the leading pan-African Bank across key indices – brand equity, human capital, customer service and profitability.”
Other items on the agenda at the forum included Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies and compliance standards across the Group. The Group Compliance Officer Uche Ike stated that “compliance is non-negotiable. We operate as a global bank, in global centres. We have seen how swiftly internationally and within Africa banks have lost hard earned reputations through laxity in policy compliance and we will not tolerate this in UBA Group“.
The Forum coincided with the 54th Annual General Meeting of UBA(where participants were also able to celebrate the Bank’s strong financial performance) as the week long activities culminated in the dedication of staff at the annual UBA CEO awards ceremony.
UBA reported strong financial results in 2015, in what is largely recognized as a challenging macro environment. Gross earnings were N315bn whilst operating profits stood at almost N70bn. UBA Africa operations currently contribute approximately 25% of these earnings but are expected to grow significantly and over time contribute as much as 50% to overall Group profitability.
United Bank for Africa (UBA) is one of Africa's leading financial institutions, with operations in 19 African countries and 3 global financial centres: London, Paris and New York.
From a single country operation in Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, UBA has evolved into a pan-African provider of banking and related financial services, to more than 11 million customers, through diverse channels globally.
In The Spotlight
Here’s the thing, it’s so sad to observe the negative comments currently being hurled at Tiwa Savage, owing to her decision to tell her side of her story with regard to husband’s recent suicide attempt. The one common thread running through these commentaries is that Ms Savage brought what should be private matter into public space; ergo…she ‘aired her dirty linens in public.’
Those responsible for these observations seem to have forgotten one vital fact…the first public part of the drama currently being played out began with T-Bilz himself. He first welcomed the public into his life with Tiwa. Why then should Tiwa not counter with her version of what her husband would have us believe is the truth? Even in a court of law (and this does not apply to the Nigerian courts alone but is observed in every court the world over) no case is ever judged without hearings from both sides. Why should it be different in T-Bilz vs Tiwa?
Culture. That world says it all. In the Nigerian culture a woman is not supposed to admit publicly that she is being put through hell by the very man who had promised, before God and man, to love and cherish her. She is expected to grin and bear her burden in private (however unreasonable and inhuman that burden may be). She is expected to do the ‘right thing’ for the sake of her family’s name and respect. And by family, I am talking about her husband’s. She is expected to cover up all of her husband’s dirty secrets, even at the expense of her own life and sanity – as a matter of fact, often at the expense of her own life and sanity.
Ask any Nigerian woman and at least 8 out of 10 will tell you their own marital horror story, or the horror story of a sister, an aunt, a friend, a mother…you name it. Yet, let a situation like Tiwa’s surface and these same women will be the first to pow-wow about what should and what shouldn’t being made public knowledge…and all in the name of ‘saving face.’ Whose face exactly? One wonders.
Now, here’s what I want to know:
- When will our women realize that covering up the thoughtless deeds of an irresponsible and insensitive man, all in the name of ‘saving face’, makes them direct accessory to the behavior of that man…the very behavior that is causing their home to derail?
- When will they understand that allowing their men to get away with not taking simple, basic responsible for their actions actually makes these men terrible not better spouses?
- When will Nigerian women accept that continuing with the pretense that all is well (when it is obviously not) is self and community-destructive?
- When will our women wake up to the understanding that just because your husband pays for the roof over your head, it does not mean he is entitled to use you as a punching bag or to disrespect you at whim, and before all and sundry?
- Most importantly, when will Nigerian men start treating their women as real partners in this institution called marriage, and not as cattle or work horses that should comply to their every demand?
Now, I am not saying that private issues between a husband and wife should be discussed at a podium. But majority of the time in most Nigerian homes, even close family members from both sides have no idea what is going on. I personally know of a case where a woman falsely admitted to being involved in a motorcycle accident in order to explain away the many scratches all over her body: scratches that were brought about at the ‘loving’ hands of her husband.
T-Bilz stated that his reason for wanting to leave this world in such an unconventional manner was because of his wife’s lack of care for his person – although, in my opinion, the jury is still out on that one. Based on current information, the 45million Naira may have played a more vital part. After all, when you are being hunted by those you owe that kind of money, and you don’t have it to pay back, it is safe to assume that the afterlife would appear increasingly rosy and preferable to the thoughts of what the owner(s) of the money would do if they catch up with you.
Still, assuming T-Bilz’s claim that his mental derailment was a direct result of his wife’s lack of love: notably, making him feel less manly as well as her refusal to ‘cook for me in years’ – although why this last bit should have figured prominently in his decision to off himself is a little surprising…this is a grown man we are talking about, after all. And he could not get his own meals? Plus, they numbered a cook as part of their domestic staff so, one figured, he could not have been going without food; which makes the case for the 45 million even more plausible.
Anyway, assuming he is right, why didn’t he suggest a more inclusive (at least for Tiwa and their immediate family) and positive approach to their problems like, say, counseling – at least, if only for the sake of his two- year-old son? What kind of man would consider resorting to suicide over a reason as banal as the ones he has given – especially knowing the future implication his actions would have for his young son?
What is most galling about the many remarks on Tiwa supposed lack of consideration for T-Bilz’s mental state is that there’s hardly a mention of her husband’s atrocious behavior during his wife’s miscarriage of their second child. Let’s even put aside the issue of cocaine inhaling, his cheating, his dishonest handling of the finances accruing from her shows: yes, let’s put all that aside for the moment and ponder on the miscarriage. When is it okay for a husband to display the kind of callousness T-Bilz exhibited during that miscarriage? To consider of more importance staying cooped up with your girlfriend somewhere while your wife is going through the kind of emotional, mental and physical turmoil that usually accompanies the lose of a pregnancy? Why is no one berating T-Bilz for that? Whilst many are busy feeling so sorry for him because his wife’s ‘thoughtless’ resulted in his lose of self-respect, why hasn’t someone had the good sense to tell the man that respect is earned, not demanded!
In The Spotlight
Parresia Publishers Ltd and African Centre for Media and Information Literacy in partnership with Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation will on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, present to the public a new book, We Are All Biafrans, written by Chido Onumah. Designed as a platform to reinforce the debate about federalism and national reconciliation, the event is expected to draw Nigerians from all walks of life. Onumah is a journalist, blogger, human rights activist and Coordinator of the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL).
Like his two previous books (Time to Reclaim Nigeria and Nigeria is Negotiable), We Are All Biafrans is a collection of essays published by the author in various newspapers in the last three years (2013-2016) focusing on the crisis of nationhood in Nigeria. It has five chapters namely, “The Politics of 2015”, “Dancing on the Brink”,“Unmaking Nigeria”, “Of Scoundrels and Statesmen”, and “Last ‘Missionary’ Journey”.
A staunch advocate of federalism in its proper sense, Onumah in this book contends that most, if not all, of the problems of Nigeria today are located in the way the country is structured. As he did in his previous books, he makes an eminently logical case for an urgent socio-political restructuring of Nigeria in order to ward off a looming catastrophe that could endanger our collective well-being. He argues that the country needs to engage episodic political convulsions that threaten its very foundation, including Biafra, June 12, Boko Haram, the “National Question”, citizenship rights, and “militocracy”.
In his typical candid manner, he takes on Nigeria’s indolent and reactionary ruling elite – civilian and military – and their allies, as well as bandits in uniform, scoundrels posing as statesmen, and conservative ideologues, religious bigots, and ethnic chauvinists posing as patriots.
The author notes that we can’t achieve any meaningful progress as a people until we come to terms with the reality of our existence – that Nigeria is a deeply flawed nation – and sincerely and selflessly confront it.
He raises fundamental questions such as, What is Nigeria and who is a Nigerian? If Nigeria is a federal republic, what constitutes or should constitute the federating units? He posits that the different manifestations of Biafra may well be a metaphor as all ethnic groups in Nigeria are victims of the terrible misrule of the past decades and thus desire a change in their material conditions.
“Chido Onumah raises opinion-making about Nigeria to the standards of great, uncompromising art,” notes Odia Ofeimun, author, poet and ex-President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). We are all Biafrans is a clarion call to reclaim a country that is on the verge of national suicide. It seeks to trigger the debate that will eventually nudge Nigerians towards kick-starting the process of a genuine re-invention of the country.
Coordinator, African Centre for Media & Information Literacy.