Unity Bank has dismissed reports on plans to sack the bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Oluwatomi Somefun over below investment grade.
According to reports circulating some top online news platforms, the Unity Bank board was making plans to sack Oluwatomi Somefun as they have lost confidence in her leadership as she alleging that she has failed to turn around the fortunes of the bank.
The reports claimed that the fortunes of the financial institution continued to sink under Somefun's administration and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is considering revoking the operating license of Unity Bank Plc over its failure to meet regulatory benchmarks.
It was also claimed that Unity Bank board is also in talks with a director in one of the first-tier banks in Nigeria to replace Somefun who has led the bank into many several troubles.
Reacting via a phone interview with AllNews Nigeria, the bank's Head of communications, Matthew Obiazikwo stated that such reports are fake news and the handwork of mischief-makers in the industry.
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Matthew said; " The story is untrue as the Bank has a cohesive board that is working harmoniously with the Executive Management team led by Mrs. Tomi Somefun (MD/CEO) to drive the growth of the Bank."
"We are not divided, neither are there plans to dismiss or sack Oluwatomi Somefun.
"The management of the Bank, with the support of its Board, has made inroads into key sectors of the economy through initiatives and programmes that have improved the fortunes of the Bank over the past five years.
"Notable amongst these are the sale of the Bank’s legacy non-performing legacy loans, the relocation of its corporate head office to Lagos (the commercial hub of Nigeria), deliberate focus on digital, retail, and commercial business as well as supporting the growth of the real sector of the economy through its participation in the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) intervention funds to promote agri-business in Nigeria".
For the rise and fall in shares being the reason for the untrue plans to sack Somefun, Matthew said shares are bound to rise and fall. Unity Bank wasn't the only one with a fall in shares, there are other conglomerate businesses.
"The Bank’s gross earnings for the 9 months ended September 2020 grew by 8 per cent to 33.906 billion from N31.256 billion in the same period in 2019.
"The lender’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) for the 9 months grew by 6 per cent to N1.710 billion from N1.611 billion in 2019, while Profit After Tax, PAT equally grew by 6 per cent to N1.573 billion compared to the N1.482 billion recorded in the same period in 2019. Profit After Tax for the period stood at N543.135 million, an equally 6 per cent increase from the N514.631 billion recorded in Q3, 2019".
A further review of the result showed that the Bank recorded an impressive 44 per cent rise in total assets to N420.870 billion for the 9- month period ended September 2020, from N293.052 billion in the corresponding period of 2019.
United Bank also substantially grew deposits to N332.362 billion from N257.691 billion for the same period in 2019 - a 29 per cent increase showing improved customers confidence in the Bank.
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The Bank in its statement issued through Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday, April 09, 2021, submitted its 2021 audited report to the CBN and currently awaiting final approval by the regulators.
Meanwhile, AllNews Nigeria recalls that Unity Bank on Friday, May 10, 2019, received recognition of the bank’s stellar performance on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Of the stocks listed on the NSE in 2018, Unity Bank stock performed exceptionally among the most performing stocks as the Bank’s share price appreciated by over 101 percent from an opening price of N0.53k to the closing price of N1.07k.