‘Started at Kakawa, Lagos Island in 1949, now in over 24 countries,’ UBA boss recounts wins as bank clocks 75


The Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Oliver Alawuba on Monday highlighted the Bank’s growth from its first location in Lagos at Kakawa Street on Lagos Island in 1949 to its presence nationwide including in 24 countries.  

According to Alawuba, what is known today as UBA started out as British & French Bank.

He made this statement on Monday (today) at a world press conference held at its headquarters in Lagos to celebrate the bank’s 75th anniversary.

Alawuba specially thanked the Bank’s Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu ‘whose visionary visionary push in 2005 and tutelage over the years’ made the Bank what it is today. He equally appreciated the customers, current and past executives, staff and other stakeholders who have jointly pushed the Bank to greatness

“We appreciate and honour you because you built and nurtured the platform on which we are standing today. Our Group Chairman (Mr. Tony Elumelu, CFR) truly deserves special recognition and mention. Without his visionary push in 2005 and tutelage over the years, I doubt whether we would be where we are today. For these and more, we say a “BIG AND RESOUNDING THANK YOU” to him.
I will like to also take this opportunity to thank all customers of UBA around the globe. Your consistent support and patronage over the years have been amazing. You meet several people, they will tell you that they are third or fourth generation of UBA customers in their families, that their grandparents and parents were customers of UBA and their children currently carry UBA ATM cards, enrolled on our mobile banking and LEO chat bot banking. This is the strength of UBA.”

According to Alawuba, the Bank has involved from a modest beginning in 1949 to a global financial institution with a presence in 20 African countries and 4 global financial nerve centres (New York, London, Paris and Dubai).

“This milestone is not just a celebration of longevity, but a testament to resilience, innovation, and unwavering commitment to excellence that have defined UBA’s journey over the decades.
As we reflect on the significance of this epoch-making event, it is important to acknowledge that UBA means different things to different people. For some, UBA is a trusted financial partner; for others, UBA is a beacon of stability and reliability, a development partner in various local communities as well as a catalyst for African development.

Since its inception in 1949, UBA has evolved from a modest beginning in Lagos Island to a global financial institution with a presence in 20 African countries and 4 global financial nerve centres (New York, London, Paris and Dubai).

Alawuba highlighted some of the banks major wins since its 75-year-old existence below:

“Today, we have over 25,000 Staff, over 35 million customers served through multiple channels – over 350,000 POS terminals, 2,000 ATM terminals, 1,000 Business Offices and 19.7 million Card Customers.

The past 75 years have been marked by stability and excellence, pillars upon which UBA’s legacy stands tall. We take pride in being:

1. UBA was the first Bank in Nigeria to offer an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 1970.
2. The first in Nigeria banking industry to be Listed on the NSE: UBA was the first Nigerian bank to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

3. The first Nigerian Bank in the USA and London: UBA was the first Nigerian bank to open a branch in the USA and London.

4. The first to install ATMs in Nigeria: UBA was the first bank in Nigeria to install Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

5. UBA was first to open a campus branch at the University of Lagos in Nigeria

6. UBA was the first Nigerian Bank to open a subsidiary in Africa (Ghana in 2005)

7. UBA appointed the first Female Board Chairperson in Nigeria

8. Mobile Banking in Nigeria was first introduced by UBA: UBA was a pioneer in introducing mobile banking in Nigeria.

9. UBA launched the first Multi-lingual Chatbot Banking in Nigeria: UBA introduced Leo, the first multi-lingual chatbot in Nigeria.

10. UBA is the first Nigerian Bank to launch the most successful Prepaid Cards across Africa.”