February 05, (THEWILL) – For his immense contributions to the growth of banking and finance in Nigeria and across Africa, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Oliver Alawuba, was on Saturday, February 4, 2023, conferred with an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Banking and Finance by the Imo State University (IMSU) Owerri, Nigeria.
Alawuba was honoured during the school’s 8th Convocation Ceremony, an event witnessed by the Executive Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma. Also in attendance were the former Governor of the State, Dr. Rochas Okorocha, the University’s Pro-Chancellor, Chief Sir, Ernest Nwapa; Vice-Chancellor Professor U.U. Chukwumaeze, Vice-chancellors from various tertiary institutions in Nigeria, captains of industries and a host of stakeholders.
Whilst congratulating Alawuba, the Vice Chancellor, Professor U.U. Chukwumaeze pointed out that the conferment is in recognition of Alawuba’s contribution to redefining Public Sector Banking in Nigeria and across Africa.
“The honour is in recognition of your numerous contributions to the financial sector in Nigeria and Africa and as one of the major drivers who contributed to taking modern banking to all state capitals and major cities in Nigeria where hitherto most banks primarily concentrated on the major commercial centres of the country,” Professor Chukwumaeze stated.
Speaking after receiving the recognition, Alawuba expressed his appreciation to the leadership of the University for the honour extended to him, just as he attributed his success to God and hard work. He took time out to encourage the students to stay focused and diligent whilst congratulating other fellow awardees.
Alawuba said. “I am grateful to the management of IMSU for the honour and recognition, and I want to thank the amiable governor, the VC and other top executives of this great institution for the honour that you have shown me today. I promise that I will continue to do my best to make this school and indeed the indigenes of this great state proud. I also seize this opportunity to advise the young ones to be focused and put their best in their studies, so that one day they will also be recognised globally.”
In his speech at the occasion, Alawuba said the Naira redesign is the best thing that could happen to the Nigerian economy at this time, adding that the new policy will stabilise the Naira and make it stronger in the long run.
He said, “The redesign of the naira is a positive policy that will support the economy in the long run. It’s true that we are passing though transition period and I believe that the CBN is working with Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to make sure that the aspiration and purpose of the redesign come into fruition for the good of the country.”
On the allegations that DMBs are frustrating the intentions of the naira redesign, Alawuba urged Nigerians to focus rather on the positive sides of the policy.
He assured that the deposit monetary banks are working assiduously with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to erase the current hardship faced by Nigerians in accessing the new naira notes.
Other awardees of the honorary Doctorate Degree include the former Governor of Anambra State, Her Excellency, Dame (Dr) Virgy Ngozi Etiaba; Chief Chika Emenike, CEO of Tummy Tummy Noodles, Chitec Motors Limited, and Kotec Group of Companies; and Engr Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB.
Alawuba who emerged the best graduating student in Food and Technology from the Abia State University, is the recipient of multiple awards from humanitarian organisations, and is also a member of several organisations and sports clubs. He is married to an Associate Professor Dr. Mrs Nkeirula Oly-Alawuba and they are blessed with seven children.
Alawuba is a seasoned banking professional with over 25 years of work experience. He has a broad range of strategic and well-grounded experience in Corporate and Institutional Banking, Consumer Banking, Public Sector, Retail and Commercial Banking, Project Management, Corporate Governance, and overall bank management.
Prior to his appointment as the Group Managing Director/CEO of UBA Group, overseeing the group’s banking operations across its 20 subsidiaries in Africa and globally in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France, and the United Arab Emirates, Alawuba was at various times country CEO and Regional CEO of UBA’s Rest of Africa operations.
Alawuba holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Food Science and Technology and an MBA in Banking and Finance. He is an alumnus of the AMP and SEP programmes of the prestigious INSEAD Business School, France and the London Business School respectively. He is also a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) and an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).