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UBA’s Leo Clocks Four, Set To Further Transform Digital Banking In Nigeria, Africa

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The United Bank for Africa has announced that it has concluded plan to commemorate the fourth anniversary of its flagship artificial intelligence Chabot, with new offerings set to further change the face of digital banking in Nigeria

To further extend its reach, UBA said it has concluded plans to commence Leo services on Instagram and Google Business, terrains none of its peers can lay claim to.

“Birthed January 11, 2018, with a firm resolve to prioritise its customers as well as put the bank at the heart of disruptive technologies that will transform the experience of esteemed customers, UBA did the unthinkable by getting three million users hooked in less than three years of its inception,” the bank revealed in a statement.

Leo, which the bank stressed, had proven to be the most formidable artificial intelligence chat bot till date; serving an ever-increasing customer base who now have less transaction hassles to worry about is currently available on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat

Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, affirmed that UBA customers agree that Leo is one of the bank’s biggest investments in cutting-edge technology and has been steadily changing the face of banking in the continent.

“Three years later, and with over almost four million customers and counting, UBA’s Leo, has without a doubt, remained the smartest Banking Chatbot in Nigeria because of its speed and quick learning intelligence and has continued to evolve with plenty to offer its teeming customers.

“While other financial institutions are still trying to find their feet as regards Artificial Intelligence, we can proudly say that our Leo has become a massive success as it continues to consolidate on its successes and accolades winning several awards in a short while of its existence, “he added.

Uzoka said further: “In just four years, Leo’s landmark achievements have been indeed overwhelming, covering 20 African countries as well as garnering over 10 prestigious awards globally, a feat that is exceptional by every standard, I must say we are proud of Leo’s intimidating achievements which is largely unbeatable.

“With this in mind, we have ensured that, Leo continues to enjoy periodic and systematic upgrade with special emphasis on enhanced advancements and specialised unique features where necessary.

“UBA’s vision has always been and will remain to be a dominating force in Africa’s digital banking space. Our resolve is to provide unparalleled experience across all channels. We are a technology-driven institution with vast knowledge in the business that we do and Leo, being a tested, dependable and intelligent personality, did well to replicate on WhatsApp the success it recorded on the Facebook Messenger platform where it started its journey and later on the IOS (iPhone Operating System) platform.

“It is a solution that is from the customer’s standpoint, easy to use by anyone regardless of demography. Leo is always ready and waiting to help with any form of banking service.”

Uzoka further explained that Leo is already present in 20 African countries and in three languages and has a number of rich and robust features bound to mesmerise existing and potential customers with services that are extremely fast and secure as all transactions and enquiries are encrypted, end-to-end.

“Leo has the ability to do a wide range of things, including funds transfer, call card top-up, checking of account balance, retrieval of bank statements, instant account openings for new customers, statement to embassy/other banks/microfinance, purchase of airtime/ data, paying of bills (LCC, PHCN, Cable TV), effectively helping with savings and spend limit,” he said.

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UBA Announces New Group Managing Director And Executive Board Appointments

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United Bank for Africa has announced the appointment of Oliver Alawuba as the new group managing director as it named four others as executive directors on its board. The appointment is subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Alabuwa’s appointment which became effective on Monday, August 1, 2022 will see him overseeing all the Group’s banking operations across its twenty African country network and globally in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France, and the United Arab Emirates.

The bank also announced the appointment of Muyiwa Akinyemi, as deputy managing director, Sola Yomi-Ajayi, executive director, Treasury and International Banking, Ugochukwu Nwagodoh, executive director, Finance and Risk Management,Mr. Alex Alozie, Executive Director and Group Chief Operating Officer and Ms. Emem Usoro, Executive Director, North Bank.

Oliver Alawuba who replaces Kennedy Uzoka joined UBA in 1997 and has held a series of senior positions, including as the chief executive of UBA Ghana, the chief executive of UBA, Africa and most recently, as group deputy managing director.

UBA group chairman, Tony Elumelu, stated ‘I am very pleased to announce Oliver Alawuba as the new group managing director of the UBA Group. Oliver has extensive experience in Nigeria and our African network and is well equipped to advance our pan-African and global strategy.

“I have no doubt that Oliver will build on the legacy of Kennedy Uzoka, who has exemplified transformational leadership by championing a customer-first philosophy; launching our twentieth operation in Africa, UBA Mali; acquiring a wholesale banking licence for UBA UK in the United Kingdom; and opening our fourth global operation, UBA Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates”.

Alawuba, on his part expressed his commitment to his new role as group managing director saying “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this great institution and would like to thank the UBA group chairman and the members of the board of directors for the confidence they have put in me to deliver the mandate.”

The newly appointed DMD, Akinyemi, joined UBA in 1998, as a senior banking officer in UBA’s Energy Bank, and has served the Group in Nigeria and our broader Africa network for 24 years.

Also, executive director, Treasury and International Banking, Yomi-Ajayi, has been with the Group since 2004 and has considerable international experience, culminating in her appointment as CEO of UBA America.

Nwagodoh, who was appointed executive director, Finance and Risk Management, joined the Group from PwC in October 2004. He has since held a series of significant roles in the areas of performance management, compliance, financial control and reporting.

The new executive director and group chief operating officer, Alozie, who joined the Group in 2019 and has driven the Group’s digital transformation and operational efficiencies.

Emem Usoro, the executive director, North Bank, joined the Group in 2011 and has served in a series of senior regional appointments across Nigeria, covering the retail, corporate and public sectors.

The board also announced the retirement of the following executive directors, who have completed their tenor, many of whom will continue to serve the broader Group upon regulatory approval of a holding company structure. They are the outgone GMD, Kennedy Uzoka, Uche Ike, Chukwuma Nweke, Ibrahim Puri and Chiugo Ndubisi

A further announcement was made on the retirement of a non-executive director, Ambassador Joe Keshi, who served as vice chairman of the board. This takes effect from August 1, 2022 after a completion of his tenure of 12 years.



The group chairman congratulated the retiring directors on the completion of their tenors and their exemplary records.

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Senate Summons CBN Governor Emefiele Over Naira Depreciation

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The Senate has summoned the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, over the depreciation of the naira.

Reports revealed a United States dollar is exchanged to N658 in a parallel market on Wednesday.

The depreciation of the currency fuelled the lawmakers’ decision to invite the CBN governor following a motion by Olubunmi Adetunmbi, senator representing Ekiti north.

Contributing to the debate, Sani Musa, senator representing Niger east, said the naira would appreciate only if the country become a productive one.

“Let’s eat what we have; let’s do with what we have. Naira will continue to appreciate until we start manufacturing,” Musa said.

On her part, Biodun Olujimi, senator representing Ekiti south, accused the CBN of not taking responsibility which has led to the crash of naira.

“Someone should be able to say I have failed, and that is the CBN,” Olujimi said.

“Most of what is happening is because people are taking out the dollar and selling and bringing them back in — we should be penalising somebody for what has happened to the naira-dollar rate.”

“The time has come for us to look holistically into what is happening. What is happening to the dollar is a replica of what is happening to Nigeria.”

The Red Chamber asked the apex bank to stop the express deterioration of the value of the naira.

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Access Bank To Support Education With $1.7m Raised At 2022 UK Charity Polo Tournament

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Seeking to improve the state of education in Nigeria, Access Bank has raised $1.7 million at its Charity Polo Tournament held at The Guards Polo Club, Egham, Surrey, United Kingdom on Saturday, 16 July 2022.


The money, the Bank confirms, will be directed towards the building and equipping of over 100 classroom blocks in the less developed areas of Nigeria.

These donations, according to the Group Managing Director of Access Corporation, Herbert Wigwe, “Serve as building blocks towards achieving a brighter future for the country, while challenging the various state governments to take sustainable actions towards ensuring all boys and girls complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education.”

“We thank all attendees and donors for buying into our vision and assure that Access Bank will not relent in its efforts to see that every Nigerian child regardless of tribe, gender and religion is given a fair chance for a better tomorrow.”

Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director of Access Bank, also added that the polo event remained the greatest investment towards ensuring a great future for the vulnerable Nigerian child.

The Polo tournament, which is executed in partnership with Fifth Chukker and UNICEF, in Kaduna, South Africa and the UK has been an extension of Access Bank’s efforts to support anti-poverty and anti-HIV/AIDS campaigns in Nigeria.

This is the first edition of the UK-based tournament to be held since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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