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N3bn UBA microfinance bank makes debut

Posted by By SEUN ADESIDA on 2008/05/14 | Views: 1034 |

N3bn UBA microfinance bank makes debut


UBA microfinance bank on Tuesday made a debut with a N3 billion fully paid capital base. Group Managing Director of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu, announced the birth at a media briefing on the up coming launch of its latest subsidiary: UBA Microfinance Bank (UBA MFB) Limited.

UBA microfinance bank on Tuesday made a debut with a N3 billion fully paid capital base. Group Managing Director of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu, announced the birth at a media briefing on the up coming launch of its latest subsidiary: UBA Microfinance Bank (UBA MFB) Limited.

He said, "at UBA MFB anyone, literate or not, with viable legitimate business, trade, vocation, etc no matter how small, can walk up to our bank and receive empowerment to give wings to their dreams."

Elumelu revealed that UBA was the first universal bank to get regulatory approval and licence to operate a microfinance bank based on the need for that kind of service in Nigeria's financial space and the economy at large.
"We have capitalized the new bank to the tune of N3 billion," he said.
The UBA boss explained further that "looking at the financial space in Africa, West Africa and Nigeria, we discover there is this key segment of the population that is un-banked or under banked with a consistent challenge of access to finance.

"Given the dominant role of Nigerian financial institution in the African sub-region, we belived we are faced with a challenge and opportunity at the same time, to extend finance to people who ordinarily would not have access to finance, these groups, comprise of women and men without access to micro credit to support there daily economic activities and small businesses, which need some advisory services and financial management services to move up the scale of their businesses."

Sounding optimistic about the Nigerian situation, he described the Nigerian business environment and operators as having the potentials and the economic conditions right, but the micro and small business operators did not know how to go about getting finance, just as there were individuals who also wanted to finance small assets to support their businesses.

The UBA group chief executive officer said: "These groups of people have been having it difficult to access finance because the African business environment, largely up till now, has no financial infrastructure to support this segment of the African population. UBA has planned to overcome these challenges by operating the new bank from within all the branches of the bank in the urban and rural communities, while separate structures are being put in place to meet the upsurge in demand of services by the micro banking public."
Speaking on the new bank, the pioneer Managing Director of the UBA MFB, Mrs. Lizzy Osule told Daily Sun that the vision of the new bank was to "become the biggest financial partner of the poor in Africa."

She said: "Microfinance is not about giving handouts to the poor, which is why at UBA MFB, we seek to create an enabling environment where people with legitimate business ideas, vocational aptitude and a burning desire to succeed, but without financial resources to actualize their dreams are given needed financial assistance that are customized in an economically viable structure to help move micro and small businesses gradually and systematically towards financial independence."
"We have put in place customized systems and processes to ensure that our target customer who is currently excluded from conventional financial services as a result of peculiar circumstance is catered for with a full range of world-class financial services," she said.

"UBA MFB is all about empowerment and we intend to do it right, by being there for our customer at every stage of their life, which is why we say Beta don land. We are conversant wit the challenges being faced by existing MFBs but we have technology in place to get us to the market quickly and effectively mobilizing, disbursing and ensuring adequate repayment of a micro credit in the most efficient way," Osule added.

The media chat was witnessed by other top management staff of the bank including Managing Director of UBA Retail Financial Services, Mr. Abinab Nerah and Managing and Group Financial Director of UBA, Mr. Victor Osadolor.

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