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Unity Bank Posts Assets Growth of 67.90% to N492.02 Billion, As Gross Earnings Hit N42.71 Billion in FY 2020

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Unity Bank Plc grew its assets base to N492.02billion representing a significant increase of 67.90% from the N293.05 billion of total assets value recorded in 2019. This is even as the agric-focused lender declared gross earnings of N42.71 billion within the period under review.

A review of the Bank’s audited results for full year ended 31 December 2020, released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, showed that the Bank improved its bottom line marginally as Profit After Tax, PAT stood at N2.09 billion. Profit Before Tax, PBT closed at N2.22 billion, in a year that was defined by the unmitigated impact of global pandemic characterized by disruptions in business activities and general downturn that resulted in revenue/returns dip in major leading sectors globally.

The lender substantially grew its customers’ deposit portfolio to N356.62 billion, up from N257.69 billion in the corresponding period of 2019, representing a 38.4% growth. This affirms positive market uptake of the Bank’s product offerings, as well as the lender’s growing customer base to its recent aggressive push with agile customer-centric products, which has played a role in deepening financial services penetration especially to a wider world, underserved spectrum of the retail market.

Other major highlight of the audited financial statement relates to growth in its net operating income which rose to N25.46 billion from N23.21 billion in the corresponding period of 2019, representing a 9.71% increase. This is even as the net interest income recorded a significant jump, as it rose by 7.60% to N17.75 billion from N16.49 billion in the corresponding period of 2019. Earnings per Share closed at 17.85 Kobo.

The Bank’s gross loans portfolio increased by 92.9% to N206.2 billion in December 2020 from N106.9 billion in December 2019. The Bank’s lending strategy was specially tailored to support the nation’s food agenda. This had the added advantage of improving food security across the country, providing employment to thousands of youths and entrepreneurs, contributing to the conservation of FX stocks and mitigating security challenges by ensuring adequate empowerment of citizens and deepening skills acquisition across the value chain.

Commenting on the result, Unity Bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Tomi Somefun stated that the results showed the resilience of the Bank during unprecedented times of uncertainties and our ability to innovate and focus on key balance sheet items that will enable us maintain growth trajectory.

She further opined that: “Consequently, for the year under review, the opportunities to significantly create more quality assets for the business, thought to have sustainable impact, informed part of choices made and we have seen some encouraging market uptake in this regard, apart from the benefits to the enterprise bottom-line that have also started trickling in. Other key performance indicators especially on the liability side of the business was equally not left out. The Bank deployed new product features and augmentation supported by omni-channel, USSD promotions and other channels to enhance services delivery efficiency, drive income generation capacities and enhance steady balance sheet growth for the year”.

Looking ahead, Somefun stated: “we will latch on targeted strategies to deploy significant investment in technology in order to ride the waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the back of this, the Bank focus on achieving major efficiency gains, deepening its retail footprints and penetrating identified cluster market segments, as bulwarks to tapping into various youth markets platforms, in addition to the mass market would get further boost”.

While laying outlook for the future, the Unity Bank’s Chief further stated: “The Bank is also looking to consolidate on the gains from its core business areas and niche in the agribusiness sector. The Bank has solidly financed over one million farmers over the past three years. These farmers cut across several primary crop production such as rice, maize, cotton, wheat, sorghum, etc coupled with their rich value chains, and we hope to continue to expand on this as we play our part in driving the country’s quest for self-sufficiency in food production.”

Analysts are of the view that having made appreciable impact in the agribusiness and its value chains consistently, the market is excited that the current year performance and different initiatives of the Bank show that the agribusiness is bankable not only as a differential positioning but also for sustainable business performance and profitability.

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FG To Lift Twitter Suspension Soon

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FG To Lift Twitter Suspension Soon-Crystal News

The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced that the ban on Twitter will soon be lifted.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, confirmed this development when he fielded questions from State House correspondents on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to him, a lot of progress has been made in the ongoing dialogue with Twitter.

“I think even Twitter itself two days ago gave what I will call a progress report on our talks with them, and I think if I want to quote them rightly `it has been productive and quite respectful’.

“And as to the qualifying word for when or how soon, I want to assure you that the time that Twitter operation has been suspended, (I meant) between the time it has been suspended, and when it will be restored is by far, much, much shorter.

“That I can assure you that it is by far in other words, if the operation has been suspended for about 100 days now, I can tell that we’re just actually talking about a few, just a few more days now.”

The minister stressed that both parties were focused on reaching a conclusion on the matter.

“What we’re trying to do is the changes that have been going on, but we need to dot the ‘i’s’ and cross the ‘t’s’, but I can assure us that we’re not unmindful of the anxiety of Nigerians and both parties are working very hard to put a closure on the matter.

“And like Twitter itself said the changes have been very, very productive on both parties. It has not been advisory at all. And it’s quite respectful,’’ he said.

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Our Director Not On Terrorist Financier List — 9mobile

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9mobile-Crystal News

The Management of 9mobile has reacted to media reports that one of its directors is on the United Arab Emirates (UAE} list of terrorist (Boko Haram) sponsors.

According to a press statement cited by Crystal News, 9mobile said that one Abdurrahman Ado Musa, who is on that list is not a director of the mobile telecommunications company.

Some Nigerians were included on the list said to have been ratified by the Emirate Federal Capital. One of the names on the list and that the media has latched on is Abdurrahaman Ado Musa.

In its clarification, 9mobile said “We, however, wish to clarify that the so-named individual is not 9mobile’s Executive Director, Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, Abdulrahman Ado. The resemblance in names is purely coincidental, and our Director does not bear ‘Musa’.

“Our Director, Abdulrahman Ado, is a respectable law-abiding Nigerian. He served the country diligently in public service for over three decades before transferring his services to the private sector.

“He served in various capacities and was Pioneer Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and Executive Commissioner, Licensing and Consumer Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission.

“As a law-abiding company that believes in the greatness of Nigeria, and the well-being of all its citizens, 9mobile would never accommodate any undesirable element within its management and staff.

“We urge the general public to kindly disregard the mistaken identify media reports making the rounds”

ICYM: High Profiled Nigerians Enlisted As Terrorist Sponsors- UAE Report

UAE authorities named 6 Nigerians as financiers of terrorist organizations including the Boko Haram sect and other criminal activities.

The 6 persons mentioned had been previously tried and sentenced in UAE with various prison terms after a federal appeals court upheld their convictions for funding the terrorist groups.

The decision was taken when the UAE federal cabinet met in Abu Dhabi on Monday after which they issued Resolution No. 83 of 2021, designating a total of 38 individuals and 15 corporate sponsors on its approved list of persons and organizations supporting Boko Haram and other terrorist causes.

The 6 Nigerians who are part of the list include Abdurrahaman Ado Musa, Salihu Yusuf Adamu, Bashir Ali Yusuf, Muhammed Ibrahim Isa, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan and Surajo Abubakar Muhammad.

The 38 names on the list are mostly Arabs from the Middle East.

UAE news agency reported that the resolution underscored the country’s commitment to target and dismantle networks that finance terrorism and its related activities.

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IGP’s Wife Empowers 50 POWA Members in Edo State

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50 POWA members in Edo by the IGP’s wife empowerment scheme

The wife of the Inspector General of Police, Hajia Hajara Alkali on Tuesday empowered 50 members of the association in Edo with Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SMSE) tools.

Alkali, who is the National President of the Police Officers Wives Association (POWA), in her remarks in Benin, said that the exercise was in line with one of her three points agenda.

She noted that it was important that every woman or mother has a means of survival and could contribute to the running of the family.

She added that it was in view of this that empowerment of POWA members was included in her three points agenda.

The POWA president, who charged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the items, disclosed that a monitoring team would be set up to guide against beneficiaries’ selling off the items.

She also said that as owners of the SMSE tools, the beneficiaries, which include widows of fallen officers as well as retired female officers, were now self employed.

Tools presented to the beneficiaries include mini industrial oven, gas cookers and cylinders, sewing machines, grinding machines, as well as coolers.

Earlier the POWA president had graced the graduation ceremony of some POWA members in Edo from the Amena Academy.

In her remarks at the event, she noted the the two weeks training of 23 members of the association on small scale snack and food production was facilitated by the association, but sponsored by AFEDOSA Catering Services.

She added that all members graduated would be given starter packs.

 

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