UBA Restructures to Deepen Operations in Nigeria, Africa

The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has announced a new operational structure, which will see it deepen its operations in Nigeria and its African subsidiaries.
The new structure, according to the Group Managing Director, Phillips Oduoza entails the splitting of its operations into two broad divisions – UBA Nigeria and UBA Africa – and the appointment of CEOs and Deputy CEOs for both markets.
UBA Nigeria comprises domestic branches and UBA Africa comprises its 18 African subsidiaries.
The new structure and appointments, according to him are expected to drive the bank's quest for industry leadership by 2015. The new structure is effective May 1, 2014.
Oduoza, who briefed the media at the weekend said the bank has since 2005 been pursuing a regional expansion programme to create a platform for diversification of the revenue base of the bank, which has seen it move to 18 African countries with 17 of the locations achieved in the last three years.
He said having successfully concluded the first phase of the expansion programme, it was time to consolidate and reap the benefits of the investments.
"We have been investing all along, which has stretched our resources including people, time, and capital. Time has come for for us to reap the full benefits of our investment," he said.
He said up till now, the contribution of the bank's African subsidiaries to profit was marginal at 11 per cent in 2012 growing  to 20 per cent in 2013, adding that the new structure is targeted to make each of the two broad business divisions – Africa and Nigeria – contribute 50 per cent to the bank's bottomline.
The new structure is an outcome of the bank's Project Alpha, a three-year road map of key transformation initiatives, designed to reinforce the Group’s strategic positioning and leverage its huge Africa presence.
The structure entails the splitting of its operations into two broad divisions, UBA Africa and UBA Nigeria with their respective CEOs who will report to the Group Managing Director/CEO.
"Though the two divisions will operate independently, they will be supported by the Group's verticals, a common technology and process as well as treasury management," he said.
He assured stakeholders that the new operational structure will not bring conflict between the two broad divisions but will strengthen operational efficiency.
The UBA Africa Division will be made up of the 18 African country subsidiaries of the UBA Group outside Nigeria. UBA Africa will have a CEO supported by two Deputies along the Bank’s two core product lines: Wholesale Banking (comprising, Corporate Bank, Institutional Bank and Public Sector) and Retail Banking (comprising, Personal Banking and SME Banking).
Kennedy Uzoka, Deputy Managing Director, has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer, UBA Africa while Emeke Iweriebor, an Executive Director, has been appointed UBA Africa Deputy CEO, Retail Bank; and Oliver Alawuba is now UBA Africa Deputy CEO, Wholesale Bank.
According to Phillips Oduoza, Group Managing Director, “the newly created UBA Africa Division will grow and deepen the bank’s presence in member countries, optimise the synergies within the network, deepen service delivery excellence, and promote cultural integration and a high level of motivation in UBA staff in the different countries to foster one UBA Family."
Also, the new UBA Nigeria Division of the Group which will be managed by Mr. Apollos Ikpobe, Deputy Managing Director, DMD, Domestic Bank, will consolidate all of UBA’s Nigerian businesses into a single division and will comprise all the Regional Banks in Nigeria, Corporate Bank, Energy Bank, and UBA Pensions. 
The Nigeria division will intensify the bank’s focus on the Nigerian market, with the aim of expanding its market share, while deepening UBA’s wallet share of existing businesses.
Also in the announcement, Ms. Obi Ibekwe, formerly Executive Director, Human Resources and Customer Service will serve as the Executive Director, Resources overseeing Human Resources, Customer Service, Corporate Services and Procurement.
“These changes will have a strategic impact on our business as we take critical steps to fast track our Project Alpha initiatives and transformation process.
"Stakeholders will no doubt see significant results from the organisational and human capital repositioning we are making to enhance value creation in the Group’s operations” Oduoza said.
He said the new structure will enhance competition between the two business lines and improve the bank's bottomline.
Specifically he said of the 18 African subsidiaries, only eleven made profit in 2013 down from the 14 that made profit in 2012. He explained that fall in number of profit making subsidiaries was due to write-offs in some locations.
United Bank for Africa Plc is one of Africa's leading financial institutions offering banking services to more than seven million customers across 700 branches in 19 African countries. With presence in New York, London and Paris.

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