Despite the currentÂ challenges in the financial sector, Customers of theÂ Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) across the country have expressed their continuedÂ loyalty and implicit confidence in the Bank.
During recent visits by the Bankâ€™s top management staff to valued customers in Kano, Bauchi, Jos and Makurdi, the customers assured the Bank of sustained patronage and improved business relationships, acknowledging that Union Bank had the capacity to overcome its present challenge, considering its assets and customer base.
Alhaji Yusuf Abdullahi, a businessman in Kano, explained that his relationship with Union Bank spanned several years, right from the time of Barclays Bank. He said he had even increased his deposits with the Bank to demonstrate his steadfastness and expressed the hope that the Bank would come out of its trying moments stronger.
Bauchi, Alhaji Salihu Garba, Chairman, Market Traders and Artisansâ€™ Association in expressed happiness over the services the Bank was rendering to the traders in Bauchi State and gave assurance that members of the association would stand by Union Bank in its trying moments.
Commissioner for Finance, Benue State, Honourable Omadachi Oklobia, assured that the State Government would seek to improve its relationship with Union Bank by exploring better opportunities that would be beneficial to both parties, especially in the area of project financing, among others.
He noted that Union Bank had a long history with Benue State, having established its presence in the State in 1954, about 55 years ago, and also contributed in no small measure to the development of the State.Â He added that the State remained willing to partner with the Bank in the implementation of the Governmentâ€™s programmes aimed at socio-economic development of Benue State.
Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Plateau State, Mrs Hassana Ayika, and Executive Chairman, Jos North Local Government, Hon. Barrister Timothy Buba, acknowledged that Union Bank, as an institution, had a long history in Nigeriaâ€™s banking industry, and stressed that the hiccup was a clarion call on the bank to reinforce its core banking activities.
Both government officials stated that their institutions had enjoyed good working relationship with Union Bank over the years and they did not intend to shift their loyalty, hoping that the Bankâ€™s present challenge would open new areas for stronger business relationships.
It would be recalled that the Bauchi State Governor, Mallam (Dr) Isa Yuguda, had expressed similar sentiments, when he stated that as a government, Bauchi State felt very strongly that Union Bank was still a strong and reliable Bank, with a crop of professionals that were still dedicated as well as honest and could still maintain the ethics of banking.
The governor stressed that he was very confident that the Bank had already bounced back, considering the structure of its debt portfolio, of which about fifty per cent should not have been classified as non-performing given the guarantee banking them.
He noted that Union Bank was the only commercial bank that had set aside the largest sum of money for agricultural financing to the tune of N500 million to encourage the Stateâ€™s farming population.
Mr. Tony Olufidipe, Deputy General Manager (Retail-Sales/Credit) representing the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mrs Funke Osibodu, leader of the Bankâ€™s delegation had told the customers that the bankâ€™s management was currently pursuing strategies that would see the Bank emerging stronger and very reliable, especially in the areas of customer service, information technology satisfying meeting customer expectations.
While expressing the Bankâ€™s profound appreciation to the customers for their support and patronage over the years, especially during its trying moments, Mr Olufidipe assured them of the Bankâ€™s solidity and stability, saying they still had a bank that would continue to support their business growth at all times.
He explained that the management visit was part of efforts to sensitize the customers on the Bankâ€™s financial health, especially following the Central Bank of Nigeria reforms, and to convey the Group Managing Director/Chief Executiveâ€™s goodwill to them, while also seeking for better ways to serve them and meet their expectations.
Mr Onazi Onazi Ogebe, Assistant General Manager (Risk Management and Control), accompanied Mr Olufidipe on the visits and were supported by the respective Zonal Coordinators and Managers of Business Development Centres (BDCs).