Vanguard Newspaper 14 April 2018
76—SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 14, 2018 •Emeka Emuwa... catapulting Union Bank to front-line positions Emuwa: Banker with focus on customer satisfaction By Emeka Anaeto, Business Editor THE Managing Director/Chief Executive, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Emeka Emuwa, has emerged The Vanguard Editors’ pick for Banker of the Year, 2017, after a painstaking evaluation of outstanding performance track records of four other bank chiefs. The board of editors had considered the institutional performance track records and peculiar circumstances under which the bank chiefs operated while also looking at the strategic positioning of the institutions into the medium to long term. The board also weighed public perception and opinion on the brand equity of the institutions. Absolute figures in the most recent and the five year financial statements were not of primary consideration as much as the relative growth rates and consistency in key performance indicators. The banks were considered and compared to their peers rather than general industry benchmarks. Union Bank 5 years to date Union Bank had seen uncommon repositioning and industry relevance as the fortune of the bank began a new turn to brighter prospects shortly after assumption of office by the new team led by Emuwa in 2012. As the team concluded its first five years last November, not only has the figures indicated a quantum leap in market share but a strategic foundation for ranking-up the industry leadership chart has been laid with its recent capital raise, about the most impressive in recent years in the Nigerian stock market. It is believed that many banks would soon follow this lead step in 2018. The capital raise is expected to catapult the bank to front-line positions amongst the tier-2 banks. Most importantly, the success of the exercise also indicated huge confidence in a new Union Bank and an endorsement of the bank’s reconstruction efforts in the past five years. This coupled with the ever increasing depositors’ confidence further confirmed in its third quarter 2017 financial results, at a time many banks, including tier-1 banks, were reporting decrease in deposit base. Union Bank had seen uncommon repositioning and industry relevance as the fortune of the bank began a new turn to brighter prospects shortly after assumption of office by the new team led by Emuwa in 2012 The bank h a d continued to record steady growth in k e y performance indicators in the past five years, and 2 0 1 7 strategic positioning is expected to put the figures in stellar positions against competition. The bank is expected to announce a further boost in regulatory capital requirement and with an increased working capital it is set to grow in strategic areas that correspond to emerging opportunities in Nigerian economy. With the capital raise, the bank said it would remain focused on its strategic priorities and expect this new capital to deliver the momentum needed to accelerate the pace of its business growth. The new Union Bank has been noted in the public opinion box for enhanced technological platforms having made some strategic investments in technology and digitalization in the past five years. But the bank is not yet done with pushing the frontiers in digital banking as, according to its capital issue prospectus, it still intends to invest more in this area in 2018 to ensure competitive advantage, in the medium to long term. Also, many observers in touch with Vanguard Editors believe the new Union Bank has optimized customer experience with investments in customer touch points. Increased deposits is said to be driven by a revamped digital platform and a customer-centric product suite, as the bank’s area of focus remains retail, trade and transaction banking. The bank’s omni-channel network is also said to be delivering rapid digital penetration. Some industry sources say Union Bank now has the fastest growing mobile banking platform in the industry. As the bank continues the optimization of its sales and service centres around the country, it hopes to sustain this lead in the new year and beyond. Highlights of most recent financials: In the nine-months to September 2017, Union Bank’s gross earnings went up by 16 per cent to N109.5 billion against the N94.8 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2016, fuelled mostly by 22 per cent increase in interest income. Profit before tax, however, went down slightly by two per cent to N13 billion as against N13.3billion in 2016. Net Income went up seven per cent, while interest income went up 22 per cent to N88.5 billion from N72.3 billion, driven mostly by 23 per cent growth in average gross loans from N412billion in 9M’16 to N507billion in 9M’17. Prudent provisioning Net interest income after impairment also went up 16 per cent to N40.9 billion as against N35.2 billion recorded in 9M’16. There was a huge drop in impairment, down 53 per cent to N6.0billion, from N12.9billion in 9M’16, and coverage ratio has strengthened to 203 per cent as at September 30, 2017, from 182 per cent as at December 2016. Speaking on the bank’s 2017 performance the Chief Financial Officer, Oyinkan Adewale stated: "With our continued focus on early problem recognition and prudent provisioning, our coverage ratio has strengthened to 203 per cent as at September 30, 2017, from 182 per cent as at December 2016. "The impact of naira devaluation, coupled with the inflationary environment, has pressured our cost-to-income ratio, especially as we continue to make investments in technology critical to our long-term business strategy. We are confident that these investments will deliver the expected cost benefits in the medium term. We also expect improved capital adequacy and higher revenues, fuelled by N50 billion of new capital." For these and many other soft issues of brand visibility, Vanguard Editors voted for Mr. Emeka Emuwa, MD/CEO, Union Bank, as the Banker of the Year, 2017.
Dr Indimi: Businessman with tenacity and perseverance SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 14, 2018 — 77 By Emeka Anaeto, Business Editor THE Vanguard Businessman of the Year is conferred, not just on any rich man, but specifically, on one with impact and imprint on the industry he/ she operates in, as well as creating diversified value in the industry value chain and the society at large. In 2017, Alhaji (Dr.) Muhammadu Indimi (OFR) met the several measures employed by Vanguard Editors in selecting one out of the so many qualified Nigerians. Born into business: Alhaji Muhammadu Indimi was born on August 12, 1947 in Maiduguri, Borno State, to a trading family. His father, Alhaji Mamman Kurundu, was a renowned trader in hides and skins in his time. Like most children in Northern Nigeria, Dr. Indimi was not fortunate to pursue formal education - partly because the number of schools were limited at the time, with the result that majority of children were deprived of what is known as Western education. Given this situation, parents who were unable to place their children in the few available Government schools, ended up sending their children to attend Quranic schools. Dr. Indimi’s business acumen and achievements are significant proof that he has been a very good student of his father who had introduced him to commercial transactions at a very early age of 10. At the young age of 16 years, the young Indimi launched his first business venture by establishing a bicycle rental outfit. When his father saw the early enterprising qualities in him, he gave him capital to help him start his own business. Business interests: Amongst many other entrepreneurship landmarks, he is the founder and chairman of Oriental Energy Resources, Limited, one of the leading indigenous oil and gas companies in the upstream sector. He is the Chairman of M & W Pump Nigeria Ltd, which had partnered with MWI Corp of Deerfield, Florida, USA. He founded many successful indigenous companies and sits on the Boards of Arab Contractors O.A.O. Nigeria Ltd; Jaiz Bank Plc and International University of Africa, Khartoum, Sudan. Strategic positioning The key value for us is Indimi’s model and approach to the hydra-headed issues in the oil sector, the rare rigour, perseverance and strategic positioning employed to get Oriental Energy to where it has become a force to reckon with in the industry both locally and internationally. His is not a flight-bynight success story. Dr. Indimi has over 24 years experience in the Nigerian upstream oil and gas sector. Founded in 1990, Indimi’s Oriental Energy had to endure the huge challenges of making an impact in the industry dominated by big multinationals with vast resources and global reach. Yet within a reasonable time Oriental Energy had expanded its activities with assets in offshore Nigeria. These assets include the Ebok Field (OML 67), Okwok Field (OML 67, and OML 115). The privately held Nigerian oil exploration and production company had passed through the rosy and the rough paths of the industry in Nigeria including youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region which he had managed skillfully to the mutual benefits of the company and the community. Indeed the company, Oriental Energy, is a story of tenacity and perseverance. Starting from a modest Block OPL224 offshore Nigeria granted it 27 years ago, it converted OPL224 •Dr. Muhammadu Indimi...empowers local host communities into OML 115 and have added both the Okwok and Ebok assets to their portfolio. Through aggressive exploration and drilling programmes, the Ebok Field began production in the second quarter of 2011 which initiated the largest development programme for an indigenous Nigerian oil company to date. Thereafter the Okwok Field began production in 2015. Oriental has also developed an offshore production hub centered on the Oriental Energy is presently engaging other operators in Akwa Ibom to create a sustained funding programme of sponsorship for UNIUYO's Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering into one of the top 10 departments of this discipline in the world established Ebok Terminal which is used for the storage and offloading of crude oil. His social investments: Vanguard Editors also reckoned with the impact of Dr. Indimi’s wealth on the s o c i e t y especially the immediate community where the wealth is created. He and his company are considerable contributors to t h e empowerment of local host communities. Dr. Indimi is a humanitarian and a philanthropist and has received numerous awards as well as honorary doctorate degrees from notable universities in Nigeria, Ireland and the United States. Dr. Indimi’s philanthropic activities cut across education, health and social welfare, housing and critical aid provision. Recently, his company, Oriental Energy, launched a N700 million modern residential estate of 100 units in Enwang, headquarters of Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The estate named, Oriental Village, Mbo; when completed will have a solar-powered electrification system, a school, clinic and a shopping centre. It will be given out free to the beneficiaries. The project is funded by Oriental Energy and the Muhammadu Indimi Foundation as a legacy project for Oriental Energy’s host communities. Since 2009, Dr. Indimi, through Oriental Energy Resources, has awarded over 470 scholarships in Akwa Ibom State, created a sponsorship program for the University of Uyo’s Department of Petroleum and Chemical Engineering as well as trained and awarded start-up funds to over 270 youths from the State at seven Skill Acquisition Centres in Uyo, Oron, Eket and Enwang in Akwa Ibom State, all of whom received starter packs. In addition, Dr. Indimi has trained 500 women, 200 of whom were awarded seed funding to start new business. In the University of Uyo between 2011 and 2013, Dr. Indimi, through his company, had invested almost $2 million in the upgrade of laboratories and library in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering to secure the department full accreditation by the National Universities Commission, NUC, and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN. Oriental Energy is presently engaging other operators in Akwa Ibom State to create a sustained funding programme of sponsorship for the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering into one of the top 10 departments of this discipline in the world. In 2010, Indimi invested over $5.6 million in social investment project programmes to impact over 11,000 persons. His company has constructed three science laboratories for Physics, Chemistry and Biology for secondary schools in Ebughu, Akwa Ibom State. The company equally constructed 14 ensuite rooms with teachers’ quarters to encourage teachers retention in Effiat host community as well as a health centre and doctor’s quarters also in Effiat, and empowered over 50 fishermen in Mbo with complete fishing gears of five fibre boats fishing nets and sundry items. In his home state, Borno State, Oriental Energy has provided support of food, machines, and clothing to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp, a 100-unit N600 million housing estate as well as a school and clinic.