LIBERIA: UBA Celebrates 75 Years of Banking Excellence


United Bank for Africa (UBA) celebrated its 75th anniversary on Monday, May 20, 2024 with a global press conference, where Group Managing Director and CEO, Mr. Oliver Alawuba, reflected on the bank’s rich history and shared its future aspirations.
“It is with great pleasure and a profound sense of pride that we gather here today to commemorate a momentous occasion – the 75th anniversary of United Bank for Africa Plc,” Alawuba began. “UBA commenced operations in 1949 on Kakawa Street, Lagos Island, as the British & French Bank.”
Addressing hundreds of journalists from his UBA Nigeria House through a global press conference, Alawuba expressed deep gratitude to the bank’s former and current leaders.
However, the celebration was also graced by UBA Liberia Managing Director, Mr. Ayokunle Olajubu Abraham, and staff via live video, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the bank.
“First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge and appreciate all our former Chairmen of Group and Subsidiary Boards, Board Members, Group and Subsidiary MD/CEOs, and staff in various capacities over the years,” he said. “Without your sacrifices, contributions, support, and guidance, we would not be where we are today.”
The bank group managing director also gave special recognition to Mr. Tony Elumelu, UBA’s Group Chairman. “Mr. Tony Elumelu truly deserves special mention. Without his visionary push in 2005 and tutelage over the years, I doubt we would be where we are today. For these and more, we say a big and resounding thank you to him.”
Alawuba also acknowledged the unwavering support of UBA’s customers. “I want to thank all our customers around the globe. Your consistent support and patronage have been amazing,” he said. “Many families have been with us for generations, and this is the true strength of UBA.”
Highlighting UBA’s pioneering achievements, Alawuba noted, “The past 75 years have been marked by stability and excellence. UBA has achieved numerous firsts, such as being the first bank in Nigeria to offer an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 1970 and the first to install ATMs in Nigeria.”
Looking forward, Alawuba emphasized innovation and digital transformation as key to UBA’s growth. “Innovation and digital transformation are at the heart of UBA’s strategy for future growth and competitiveness. We will continue to invest in innovative products, services, and digital platforms that enhance customer experience and drive operational efficiency.”
He reaffirmed UBA’s commitment to corporate social responsibility. “Our initiatives in education, healthcare, entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability have made a concrete impact on communities across Africa,” Alawuba stated.
Alawuba shared UBA’s vision to be a role model for African businesses. “UBA is one bank, uniting Africa while connecting Africans to the world and the world to Africa,” he said. “Our recent $6 billion SME funding agreement with the African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) exemplifies our commitment to collaboration and growth.”
Reiterating UBA’s customer-first philosophy, Alawuba said, “Our three key pillars of service – People, Process, and Technology – are all geared towards delivering excellent customer experience. The customer is our employer and the sole reason we come to work every day.”
Alawuba concluded with an inspirational quote from Soren Kierkegaard: “Honor the past, celebrate the present, embrace the future. Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”
Earlier in his welcome remarks, UBA’s Group Deputy Managing Director, Muyiwa Akinyemi, addressed the audience. “Today, we celebrate a remarkable milestone in UBA’s transformation journey – our 75th Anniversary,” Akinyemi said. “From our beginnings as the British & French Bank in 1949, UBA has grown to become Africa’s leading financial institution.”
Reflecting on UBA’s core values, Akinyemi added, “Together, we will continue to uphold our core values of Excellence, Enterprise, and Execution, driving sustainable growth and success.”
He said, “UBA today operates across 4 continents with presence in 20 African countries, United States of America, France, United Kingdom, and UAE; and over the past 75 years, we have exemplified stability, reliability, and excellence in banking, achieving numerous milestones and positively impacting the communities that we serve.”
According to Akinyemi, their commitment to exceptional customer experience, as well as our financial strength and resilience over the years, has been key to our success. “Our robust performance, especially over the last couple of years, underscores our sound strategies and commitment to operational excellence.”
He assure everyone that that UBA will remain an attractive investment opportunity as it continues to deliver exceptional value to our shareholders.
“At UBA, Innovation and digital transformation are at the heart of our future growth as we remain committed to enhancing the experience of our customers across all touchpoints while solidifying our position,” Akinyemi said. “We are committed to offering value that enhances the experience of our customers, while solidifying our position as a forward-thinking institution.”
“Together, we will continue to uphold our core values of Excellence, Enterprise, and Execution, driving sustainable growth and successes. We thank you for joining us today as we announce this milestone in our transformation journey and envision a very promising future,” he said.

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