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UBA extends Africa footprint, commences full operations in Mali

The pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has commenced full banking operations in Mali, extending its footprint and fulfilling the aspiration of deepening banking penetration in Africa.

The launch of UBA Mali brings to 20, the number of African countries, where the Group currently operates, with global operations in the United States, United Kingdom and France.

The launch of the bank’s latest addition in Mali was occasioned by his Excellency, the President of the Republic of Mali, Mr Ibrahim Aboubacar Keita, who gave an unprecedented speech at the opening ceremony. ‘Tony promised it and he did it’, said the President, referring to UBA Group’s Chairman, Mr Tony Elumelu, on his promise made several years ago to bring UBA to Mali.

The Malian president praised UBA Group for the vision to expand the bank’s footprint to Mali. He commended the tenacity and commitment of UBA and its Group Chairman to the development of the continent, calling African financial institutions to follow the developmental philosophy of the bank and its chairman in growing infrastructure, deepening financial inclusion and being catalysts for eradicating poverty in Africa.

In his response as he welcomed the dignitaries and all stakeholders present at the launch, Elumelu, asserted UBA’s sustainability principles and philosophy.

“UBA is Africa’s global bank, a leading pan-African brand, committed to democratising banking on the continent. We are progressive partners for African corporates, institutions and governments whilst also helping to fulfil the financial aspirations of individual customers. Our train has finally arrived in Mali. We are here for mutual progress; we are here for shared prosperity”. Elumelu noted.

UBA extends Africa footprint, commences full operations in Mali
UBA in Mali

The Group Managing Director, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, expressed his enthusiasm on the Group’s operation in Mali, saying ‘We are in Mali to offer world class financial services that will surpass the expectations of our customers. I assure you that UBA is poised to deliver excellent services to the entire population of Mali’ he posited.

The CEO, UBA Mali, Alhassane Sissoko told customers that the Bank is optimistic on the competitiveness of its franchise in Mali with strong potentials for accelerated market share gain over the near to medium term. He re-assured private and public sector players of good things to come. “The advent of UBA in Mali marks a turning point in the history of the Malian banking sector with new opportunities for businesses and individuals. We will always have in mind, the progress of our customers’ Sissoko said.

The event ended with President Keita wishing UBA well as he cut the ribbon to open the doors to the newest Bank in Mali, ‘I wish UBA Mali a very good banking life and that their entrance into Mali will expand our banking sector even more’.

Also present at the launch were the Prime Minister of Mali, Mr Soumeilou Boubeye Maiga; the Mayor of Bamako, Mr Adama Sangare; the Minister of Economy and Finance, Dr Boubou Cisse; the Minister of Digital economy and Communications, Mr. Harouna Touré and many other dignitaries.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading pan-African financial services group, with operations in 20 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and presence in France.
UBA was incorporated in Nigeria as a limited liability company after taking over the assets of the British and French Bank Limited who had been operating in Nigeria since 1949.

The United Bank for Africa merged with Standard Trust Bank in 2005 and from a single country operation founded in 1949 in Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy – UBA has become one of the leading providers of banking and other financial services on the African continent.
The Bank provides services to over15 million customers globally, through one of the most diverse service channels in sub-Saharan Africa, with over 1,000 branches, customer touch points and robust online and mobile banking platforms.

El-Rufai defends ‘body bag’ comment

Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, has dismissed criticisms which trailed the threats he issued to foreigners over the forthcoming elections.

When he featured on NTA on Tuesday, the governor said foreigners planning to interfere with the country’s election will leave in body bags. Body bags are used to convey corpses.

The comment had sparked an outrage, with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) calling on the international community to impose travel ban on the governor.

But in a statement which Samuel Aruwan, his spokesman, issued on his behalf on Wednesday, el-Rufai said there was nothing bad about the utterance he made.

“When Malam Nasir El-Rufai appeared on NTA’s Tuesday Night Live, he made comments every patriot can understand. He stood up for Nigeria’s dignity in the wake of those who would traduce their country and reduce it to the status of a colony in their vain quest for power,” the statement read.

“The video of his comments is in circulation. Any fair-minded person with modest familiarity with the English language and unimpaired comprehension can understand it. It does not contain any call for violence. What it is a powerful defence of sovereignty. Are some sections of our political class implying that they will acquiesce in or collaborate with foreign intervention in our country?”

El-Rufai said he never called for violence but warned of the consequences of undue interference.

“Affirming that a country will defend itself against needless intervention is the kind of statement you expect to hear from a patriot. It is not a call for violence. Warning about the consequences of meddling in another country’s affairs is legitimate,” he said.”Malam Nasir El-Rufai has issued a powerful call for vigilance and a clear notice that other countries should not mistake the supine posture of the opposition for national weakness.

“El-Rufai has stood firmly against those who have been trying to divide Nigerians on ethnic and religious lines. He is resolutely opposed to violence, and firmly committed to peace and harmony.”


Saraki tells Buhari to meet the demands of ASUU

Senate President Bukola Saraki has asked the federal government to meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in order to end the ongoing strike.

In a statement issued on his behalf by Yusuph Olaniyonu, his media aide, Saraki said it is unacceptable for the students who registered to vote in their institutions to be disenfranchised due to the strike.

On November 4, 2018, ASUU embarked on what it had described as a “total, comprehensive and indefinite strike” following government’s failure to implement the agreement reached in November 2016.

Saraki said the country cannot continue a system whereby its universities are frequently shut down, thereby slowing down the education of young people.

“In November 2016, the Senate intervened in the ASUU strike and met with the officials of the Ministries of Education and Labour, Employment and Productivity and the Academic Staff Union of Universities,” the statement read.

“At that meeting, which was attended by the Minister of State for Education Anthony Anwuka and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Productivity in the National Assembly, we agreed that the Federal Government should work to implement the agreement that it reached with ASUU in 2009, and subsequently, we set up a sub-committee to liaise with both ASUU and the Federal Government on this issue.

“The Federal Government must immediately work to address the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU) because this issue goes beyond negotiations. It is affecting the education of Nigeria’s students, and disenfranchising many of them from participating in the upcoming general elections.

“Make no mistake, we cannot continue this system whereby our universities will be frequently shut down, thereby slowing down the education of our young people — and creating negative bottlenecks that place unnecessary stress on our universities.

“In another vein, our youth make up over 51 per cent of registered voters. What does this mean for our electoral process, when young students who are registered to vote in their academic institutions, cannot do so because their schools are shut down? This is unacceptable.

“In this regard, I call on the Federal Government to immediately work on meeting the demands of ASUU and honouring all its prior commitments. On our part, the Senate will continue to work to ensure that Nigeria’s education sector is strengthened — and we are ready and willing to collaborate with both the Federal Government and ASUU to end this strike, and ensure that it does not become a recurrent issue.”

Peter Obi says Nigeria will collapse if Buhari is reelected

Peter Obi, running mate of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says the country will collapse if President Muhammadu Buhari is reelected.

The Punch quoted Obi as saying this on Tuesday while speaking with journalists on a roadshow in Akwa, Anambra state.

The vice-presidential candidate reportedly said the election is about “the future of our children.”

He said the government of All Progressives Congress (APC) does not have the capacity to govern the country.

“We are on a roadshow trying to send our message to Nigerians. We are telling them that the election is about the future of our children,” Obi said.

“We are encouraged by our endorsement everywhere,  not only in the south-east  because the people have seen the reality of the moment.

“They have seen that the present government doesn’t have the capacity to govern Nigeria.

“They have seen that this country will collapse under Buhari if allowed to continue. We have a country that is collapsing. So, everybody should be part of this endorsement.”

According to him, Nigeria is the third most insecure country in the world.

“We have a situation where we record growing insecurity daily. We’ve now moved from number seven to number three insecure country in the world after Afghanistan and Iraq,” he said.

“This should worry everybody.”


Shehu Sani: Culprits who worked for Obasanjo’s third term are now with Buhari

Shehu Sani, lawmaker representing Kaduna central senatorial district, says President Muhammadu Buhari has surrounded himself with culprits.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday, the senator said those who worked for the third term agenda of former President Olusegun Obasanjo are presently in the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He added that those who facilitated the sales of national assets are with the president.

“Dear Baba,those who work for that Obj’s third term are now in your party;those who worked with the ex VP,aided and facilitated the auction of our national assets, are in your house. You are in company of the Culprits in the crime you denounce,” Sani tweeted.

Senator Shehu Sani


Dear Baba,those who work for that Obj’s third term are now in your party;those who worked with the ex VP,aided and facilitated the auction of our national assets,are in your http://house.You  are in company of the Culprits in the crime you denounce.

2,060 people are talking about this

The senator was reacting to a statement by Buhari at a presidential rally in Akure, Ondo state capital, that he is only seeking a second term — not a third term like Obasanjo.

Without mentioning his name, Buhari made it abundantly clear he was speaking to the former president.

Benue belongs to Buhari, says Ortom as he receives president’s campaign team

Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, says Benue belongs to President Muhammadu Buhari and he can do whatever he likes there.

Ortom said this at the Nigerian air force base, Makurdi, the state capital, while speaking with journalists on Wednesday.

The governor was at the base to receive the president for the state’s All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential rally.

“He is the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and whatever he is doing, it is our responsibility to give him adequate protocol,” he said.

“He is our president, and this is beyond party… so I am doing all the needful. There is no special thing in what I am doing, it is what I am supposed to do as governor of Benue state irrespective of party because he remains my president and I respect him.

“I have no personal issues with him; we talk about policies and issues there is no personal grudge. So, I am here to receive him, and I have made adequate arrangement. This state belongs to Mr President. So he has access, he can be here and do whatever he wants.”

Ortom defected from the ruling APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in July and fell out with the federal government.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had frozen the accounts of the state but the restriction was lifted few days after.

In August 2018, Terver Akase, spokesman of Ortom, had alleged that the federal government was planning to cage his principal with a flight ban.

The governor had earlier said there would be no campaign for elections in Benue if there is no solution to the clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

PDP threatens to pull out of peace accord, seeks travel ban on el-Rufai

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has threatened to pull out of the peace accord it signed for the elections.

In December, President Muhammadu Buhari of the  All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, joined flagbearers of other parties to commit to peace in the elections.

But in a statement on Wednesday, the opposition party said after due consideration of “comments, threats and incendiary actions by the APC and the Buhari Presidency, which are directly inimical to a peaceful, free and fair election, the PDP is left with no option than to consider a review of its signatory in the national peace accord, if no action is immediately taken to curb this trend”.

The party criticised Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, for saying foreign powers who interfere in Nigeria’s elections will return to their countries in body bags. Body bags are used to convey corpses.

While expressing shock over the comment, the party called on the international community to immediately impose travel ban on el-Rufai.

The US, UK and EU had listed travel ban as one of the measures it would use against those who work against the elections.

“Nigerians are still in a shock over comments by the Governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, who declared on a national television that members of the global democratic institutions that are working for a peaceful election in Nigeria will return to their countries in body bags. What a threat?” the party said in a statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, its spokesman.

“We call on the international community to immediately impose a travel ban on el-Rufai for this inciting comment against peaceful elections in our country.”

PDP also kicked against the decision of the police to redeploy Kayode Egbetokun, a police commissioner, in Kwara state.

Ibrahim Idris, former inspector-general of police, had been directed Egbetokun to take over Lagos police command but Mohammed Adamu, the acting IGP reversed the appointment less than 24 hours after taking control of the force.

The opposition party said as a former chief security office (CSO to Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the APC, Egbetokun will be protecting the interest of the ruling party in Kwara where Senate President Bukola Saraki is from.

“Also of particular note is the plot to redeploy, a former Chief Security Officer to APC leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, CP Kayode Egbetokun, as Kwara state Commissioner of Police, where he has been handed the instruction to incite the people, cause pandemonium and pave the way for outright rigging in favour of President Buhari and all other candidates on the platform of APC,” the statement read

T”his is in line with plans by the Buhari Presidency and the APC to effect a mass deployment of top security officers, particularly the police, to intimidate, harass and manhandle Nigerians that will not support the self-succession bid of President Muhammadu Buhari as well as aiding APC thugs to snatch ballot boxes and orchestrate violence in the elections.

“Nigerians are aware of how CP Kayode Egbetokun was posted to Lagos state by the disgraced former Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, to serve the same partisan interest and how that posting was stopped by the new IGP Adamu Mohammed. Now, he is being redeployed to Kwara state for the same ignoble plot.

“It is necessary to state that the PDP is a party of peace and we are committed to the peace accord. However, the deployment of the Kayode Egbetokun as Kwara CP directly negates the principle of the Peace Accord and can only hurt the fragile peace that currently exists in Kwara state.

“We wish to remind the acting Inspector General, Adamu Mohammed that his acceptability among Nigerians across party line was based on the pedigree, which was presented to Nigerians before his appointment.”

El-Rufai issues death threat to foreigners planning to interfere with elections

Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, says any “foreign power” that meddles in the general election would return to to their country in body bags.

Speaking during an NTA Live programme on Tuesday evening, el-Rufai said as an independent and sovereign state, Nigeria would never bow to foreign powers.

“Those that are calling for anyone to come and intervene in Nigeria, we are waiting for the person that would come and intervene, they would go back in body bags,” he said.

“We are waiting for the person that will come and intervene. They will go back in body bags, because nobody will come to Nigeria and tell us how to run our country. We got that independence and we are trying to run our country as decently as possible and we know the history of those countries that are trying to teach us these things. We have read their history.

“We also know that at their own stages of development, they went through these challenges. So please, let’s work together, let’s advice one another– but don’t lecture us.

Recalling a period when Nigeria had intervened in Sierra Leone and Liberia’s political affairs in the 1990s, he said the interference was as a result of a consensus by the international community and it was also a “gesture of neighbourliness”.

He said foreign countries have been through “though phases” before developing into world powers, adding that Nigeria is trying to run itself as decently as possible.”

The governor’s comments come after Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said the federal government will not tolerate any foreign interference in the nation’s affairs.

Shehu said that in reaction to criticisms by US, UK and EU following the suspension of Walter Onnoghen, former chief justice of Nigeria (CJN) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Anglo-American duo had alsothreatened to place travel restrictions on those who incite violence or interfere in proceedings during the elections.

Below is the video of el-Rufai’s comment:


Tinubu’s ex-CSO appointed Kwara CP… Edgal replaced as Lagos police commissioner

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Kayode Egbetokun, a ex-chief security officer to Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state, has been appointed the commissioner of police in Kwara state.

Ikechukwu Ani, spokesman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), disclosed this in a statement.

Egbetokun was Tinubu’s chief security officer for a few years before he became the commandant of Police Training School, Ikeja, Lagos.

The statement said Imohimi Edgal, commissioner of police in Lagos, has been directed to hand over to Mu’azu Zubairu.

Egbetokun had been appointed as the Lagos police commissioner and was in the process of taking over from Edgal when Mohammed Adamu, acting inspector-general of police, directed that the handover ceremony be put on hold.

“I am sure that you know Mr. Kayode Egbetokun; he is an old timer in the command,” Imohinmi had said.

“You all know that our first job is about order and direction; we were about concluding the handing and taking over procedure when we were instructed by our bosses from Abuja to suspend action for now.

“So, there will be no change of guard for now. Of course, we would keep the press briefed about any development.”

The commission also redeployed police commissioners across the country. The states they are deployed in are:

  • Buba Sanusi, Katsina
  • Mohammed Wakili, Kano
  • Rabiu Ladodo, Jigawa
  • Ahmed Iliyasu, Ogun
  • Mu’azu Zubairu, Lagos
  • Ibrahim Sabo, Niger
  • Alkassam Sanusi, Taraba
  • Garba Mukaddas, Adamawa
  • Omololu Bishi, Benue
  • Bola Longe, Nassarawa
  • Isaac Akinmoyede, Plateau
  • Odumosu Hakeem, Edo
  • Olushola David, Bayelsa
  • Adeleke Yinka, Delta
  • Austin Agbonlahor, Cross Rivers
  • Bashir Makama, Akwa Ibom
  • Awosola Awotunde, Ebonyi
  • Belel Usman, Rivers
  • Bello Makwashi, Gombe
  • Abdulrahman Ahmed, Kaduna
  • Bala Ciroma, FCT
  • Hakeem Busari, Kogi
  • Asuquo Amba, Ekiti
  • Galadanchi Dasuki, Imo
  • Suleiman Balarabe, Enugu
  • Dandaura Mustapha, Anambra
  • Etim Okon, Abia
  • Ibrahim Kaoje, Sokoto
  • Celestine Okoye, Zamfara
  • Garba Danjuma, Kebbi
  • Abiodun Ige, Osun
  • Undie Adie, Ondo
  • Olukolu Shina, Oyo
  • Ali Janga, Bauchi
  • Damian Chukwu, Borno
  • Sumonu Abdulmalik, Yobe

Musiliu Smith, chairman of the commission, asked the CPs to proceed immediately to their new commands ahead of the 2019 general election.