Leading African financial institution, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) held its Annual General Meeting virtually by proxy on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – a first in UBA’s seventy-one-year history.
The meeting, which had in attendance shareholders, management, and staff members, together with representatives of relevant regulatory bodies, was held using an Online Meetings Platform, in accordance with Guidelines issued by the Corporate Affairs Commission.
Opening the meeting, UBA Group Chairman, Tony O. Elumelu noted this was a very special meeting, held in extraordinary circumstances. It was only right at the outset to express the Group’s deep appreciation to all the health workers across Africa, who are at the forefront of fighting the deadly pandemic. The Group Chairman also commended the Federal and State governments in Nigeria and governments across Africa, for their rapid actions against the threat. He acknowledged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele for his various initiatives in mobilising the private sector to provide support, medical care and palliatives to reduce the effect of the scourge on citizens. Mr Elumelu said:
“Our commitment to improving lives in Africa is a long-term one, which we do not take lightly, as we assist governments in Africa to curb this pandemic and help sustain employment across the continent. I want to also thank the UBA Board of Directors, who have been responsive in this time of crisis, as the Group donates $14m to assist governments to fight the COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria and Africa.”
He also thanked executive management and members of staff, as he assured shareholders, that despite the pandemic, UBA had delivered an impressive performance in its just released first quarter results. He also noted that the Group was well prepared for the crisis, having put in place effective measures to ensure that its operations continue smoothly. Mr Elumelu underlined the fact that the Group’s exposure to the oil and gas sector was well within prudential guidelines.
Shareholders at the meeting commended the Board of Directors and management for the proactive role that the Group has been playing in helping to lessen the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic across the African continent and its robust financial performance, despite a difficult macroeconomic outlook.
UBA Shareholder and President of Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigeria Shareholders, Dr Umar Farouk applauded the Group for the contribution of N5bn (USD14 million) to the fight against Covid19, adding that the move was unprecedented and will substantially support governments, as they work to tame the scourge. He also hailed the twenty per cent increase in dividends that the Bank proposed to pay to shareholders. He said:
“I am also happy that you fulfilled the promise you made at the AGM last year to pay dividends in Naira and not kobo, by paying N1 per 50 kobo shares to shareholders, in this difficult time. We have seen the first-quarter results, and we are particularly happy about the performance of our subsidiaries across Africa.”
Detailing how UBA has reacted effectively during the pandemic, the GMD Kennedy Uzoka said, “As you know, UBA is a learning organisation, we are not a Nigerian bank, but a pan-African Bank operating in 20 African countries and also in the UK, the USA and France. When we learnt about this pandemic, we immediately activated our business continuity plan. All the investments we have made over the years in the area of technology will begin to yield now, because already we have continued to meet the needs of customers in terms of digital patronage, owing to the growing traffic we have been receiving in the past few weeks. We are well prepared for all situations.”
While expressing hope that a vaccine is found for the coronavirus, Uzoka disclosed that UBA will continually do business in a way to ensure that customers do not have to physically be in the bank.
“We are set to take our business to the customers wherever they are and however they want it,” he said. “As our first quarter results indicate, we can produce robust results, despite the challenges. We are buoyed by our significant geographic diversification, our historic investment in efficiency and the dedication of our staff. Our commitment to our loyal shareholders is amply demonstrated in our progressive dividend policy.”
United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touchpoints, in 20 African countries. With presence in New York, London and Paris, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.
Uganda Elections: Museveni re-elected for 6th term with 58.6% of the votes
Uganda’s President Museveni has won a 6th term in office as the opposition alleges wide-scale rigging.
The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, has been re-elected as President, gathering 5.85 million votes compared to 3.48 million votes by main opposition leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, a.k.a Bobi Wine.
According to Reuters, this victory represents 58.6% of the vote cast while Bobi Wine got 34.8%
Bobi Wine announced that the election results show this is the most fraudulent election in the history of Uganda and urged his followers to reject the result.
What you should know
- Yoweri Museveni, aged 76, has been President of the East African nation since 1986.
- Bobi Wine claimed via his official Twitter handle that military men jumped over his fence and took control of his home yesterday.
Combined Vaccine Manufacturing capacity to hit 6.8 billion doses in 2021
COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity is expected to hit 6.8 billion doses in 2021.
Meristem Group disclosed that the combined effort in manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines for global use is expected to yield about 6.8 billion doses in 2021.
This was revealed in the Annual Outlook 2021 report presented by Meristem Group, titled “Bracing for a different future.”
According to the report, the existing manufacturing capacity will only be sufficient enough to immunize about 44% of the global population, which would create obvious vaccination gap and make the pandemic last longer than necessary.
The report states,
- “The cold temperature requirements for vaccine storage pose major logistics concern particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and other low-income countries. WHO estimates that about 50% of vaccines are wasted every year, largely due to a lack of temperature control.”
According to the report, the estimated 6.8billion doses are expected to be collaboratively manufactured as follows: CanSino – 0.2billion, AstraZeneca – 3.0 billion, Gamaleya – 0.3billion, Moderna – 0.4billion, Pfizer-BioNtech – 1.3billion, SinoPharm – 1billion, and SinoVac – 0.6billion.
What you should know
- The global population as of 2020 is 7.8billion and 70% is required to achieve herd immunity (otherwise called herd protection)
- Herd Immunity or herd protection is achieved when you have most of the population immunized against an infectious disease.
- 2 doses of the vaccines are required for each person for immunity.
- It is expected that between 11 and 15 billion doses would be required to achieve the desired herd immunity, globally.
- From all indications, herd immunity may not be achieved until mid or late 2022, with the subsisting 100% vaccine production capacity utilization in 2021 – with neither production nor distribution losses.
- To achieve regulatory approval, a vaccine must undergo a three-stage clinical development process after the exploratory and pre-clinical stages and the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets a phase 3 efficacy benchmark of 50%.
Covid-19: Global deaths surpass 2 million
Global casualty record for the Covid-19 pandemic surpassed 2 million deaths on Friday.
The Global casualty record for the Covid-19 pandemic surpassed 2 million deaths on Friday, with the United States accounting for 1 in every 5 deaths, as it has recorded over 386,000 casualties so far.
This was disclosed in a report by Reuters in its Covid-19 tally reported on Friday evening.
After the United States, Brazil, Mexico, India and the U.K contribute nearly 50% of the combined casualties.
The report also disclosed that an average of 11,900 casualties are recorded per day in year 2021, despite the fact that it took 9 months for the world to record 1 million casualties.
United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said the 2 million death count was “a heart-wrenching milestone.”
- “Behind this staggering number are names and faces: the smile now only a memory, the seat forever empty at the dinner table, the room that echoes with the silence of a loved one,” he added.
The WHO warned that 2021 could be tougher due to the nature of new variants which transmit the disease faster.
- “We are going into a second year of this. It could even be tougher given the transmission dynamics and some of the issues that we are seeing,” WHO Chief, Mike Ryan, said.
Analysts expect the global death toll to surpass 3 million by April 2021.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported that the total number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria had surpassed the 100,000 mark on Sunday 10th January 2021, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
- The African Union stated that it secured 270 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for the continent from drug manufacturers to supplement the COVAX programme, a step towards the commencement of the complex task of vaccinating over 1.2 billion people with limited financial resources.
- The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Friday 15th January 2021, announced that 1,867 new cases of the covid-19 virus were recorded across 24 states in the country. This represents the highest number of cases recorded in a single day.