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statistics from external sources show that Nigerians in the diaspora

remit back to Nigeria annually the sum of over $5 billion

Celine Loader                                                                                                                           Chika Mordi & Chidi Okpala

 

 

On The Road with the United Bank for Africa in London

 

By Uche Nworah

 

The news of the London road show by the United Bank for Africa PLC (UBA PLC) had been making the rounds among the Nigerian community in London for weeks long before the train came into town. It was Christian Udechukwu’s BusinessinAfricaevents.com, the event organisers that started the viral campaign through targeted emails; text messages, internet promotions as well as word of mouth.

And so it wasn’t surprising that the function hall of the London Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, venue of the event could hardly contain the guests that had turned out to hear UBA’s success story on the evening of Saturday the 18th of March 2007, as well as to explore what financial opportunities abound within the UBA group and the relationships they could develop with the bank.

First was the usual mingling and networking session in the fore room, an opportunity for the UBA team to informally tell the UBA story. Tony Elumelu, the UBA Group Managing Director was conspicuously absent but he wasn’t missed so much because the UBA quartet comprising Chika Mordi (Executive Director, Investment Banking and Asset Management), Chidi Okpala (Head, NRN Banking division, Celine Loader (Group Brand & Communications Director) and Achuzie Ezenagu (Group Head, Logistics) ably filled his big shoes. They equally impressed with their masterful presentations on UBA’s many products and services that will be of interest to the Nigerian, African diasporan community as well as other guests present.

Chika Mordi set the ball rolling with a speech titled ‘Creating Africa’s Bank’. He began by sharing UBA PLC’s vision which he said was “to be a role model for Africa’s businesses, and also to be dominant in Africa’s financial sector”. He gave a brief background history of UBA and also talked about their merger with Standard Trust Bank (STB) in 2004. Chika also gave other key performance indicators which all sounded very strong and positive and earned him a thunderous applause from the audience. According to him “UBA PLC is the clear leader in sub-saharan Africa, we have a deposit base of over 736 billion naira, as well as over a trillion naira in assets and contingencies”. 

Compared to their closets rivals, the figures Chika quoted were simply phenomenal since according to him “UBA’s closest rivals only have an asset base of 390 billion naira”.  Chika also told the audience that UBA has the largest branch network in Nigeria, “We currently have about 516 branches in Nigeria while our closest competitor has only about 300 branches”, he said.

Chika’s speech was constantly applauded by the audience, an appreciation of what he and his team have managed to achieve in so short a time. He mentioned several other firsts which have been recorded by the bank and gave examples with the 5 million customer base that UBA currently has, as well as the several awards it has received including the ones from Agusto & Co which rated UBA PLC as the number one bank in Nigeria, The This Day award which named UBA Nigeria’s Bank of the year and the Euromoney Best domestic bank in Nigeria award to mention only a few.

On what drives the bank’s management, Chika said that it was their vision to become one of Africa’s largest banks.

Next in line was Chidi Okpala who spoke passionately about UBA’s novel financial product – The Non Resident Nigerian (NRN) Account. According to Chidi “NRN offers non-resident Nigerians the financial peace of mind they have been craving, particularly those who have complained in the past that the money they send home to their families for specific projects were being mismanaged”. Continuing he said that “UBA was the lead facilitator in ensuring that linkages between Nigerians in the diaspora and Nigeria were maintained”.

He told the audience that statistics from external sources show that Nigerians in the diaspora remit back to Nigeria annually the sum of over $5 billion and that “the NRN is a credible, robust and sustainable platform to manage those remittances, thereby growing the Nigerian economy”. Chidi also spoke briefly about the Non-resident Ghanaian (NRG) account, a sister product to the NRN account. He particularly got the audience excited when he informed them that UBA now offers mortgage products to Nigerians in the diaspora for properties in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Enugu.

In her speech, Celine Loader who until her UBA appointment was the editor of UK based Aspire magazine thanked the audience for attending, according to her “UBA is grateful to you all for coming out this Saturday evening to listen to UBA’s story.                                        L- R Paulette, Bayo Chioma, Uche Nworah

As you all know, UK regulations prohibits us from fully discussing our current share offer; however our advice to those enquiring about how to buy UBA shares is to first get a stock broker in Nigeria”. She directed the guests to access the ubagroup.com website for further information.

Amongst those present in the audience were Garba Zakari, the minister of trade and economic affairs at the Nigeria High Commision who represented Dr. Christopher Kolade, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the court of St. James, Bola Mogaji (naijacommunity.com), Abiodun Olusesan (CEO of Radiant Glow), Ebere Nzewuji of Ben Television, Obi Emelonye (Nollywood Producer and Director) Ezey Marcel (Principal Director of Concepts College), Jideofor Adibe of Adonis & Abbey Publishers and many more.

Chief Yemisi Sanusi who has been a UBA customer for over 30 years gave a testimony about her impression of the bank to the applause of the audience. While making a parting commentary, Abiodun Olusesan of Radiant Glow cosmetics said that he was quite impressed with the various presentations and hoped to explore further relationships with the bank regarding the assistance they can give to small and medium scale enterprises like his.

Chief Yemisi Sanusi (left)

He was full of praise and admiration for the UBA team, “I’m happy seeing this young Nigerians driving and changing Nigeria’s financial sector, I see it as a sign of better things to come in the future”, he concluded.

Uche Nworah is freelance writer, lecturer and brand strategist. He studied communications arts at the University of Uyo, Nigeria and graduated with a second class honours degree (upper division). He also holds an M.Sc degree in marketing from the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus and obtained his PGCE (post-graduate certificate in education) from the University of Greenwich where he is currently enrolled as a doctoral candidate. His articles have been published by several websites and leading Nigerian newspapers. He received the ChickenBones Journalist of the Year award in 2006

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

By Randall Kennedy

Among the best things about The Persistence of the Color Line is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should back Obama” . . .

The finest chapter in The Persistence of the Color Line is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”  Recalling some of the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about his own father, who put each of his three of his children through Princeton but who “never forgave American society for its racist mistreatment of him and those whom he most loved.”  His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

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Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what's in your heart than what's in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America's shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, "Happy can make you money, but money can't make you happy."

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 16 February 2012

 

 

 

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