Letter to The Guardian Editor: Awaiting UBA-Zenith Merger

Sir: As a close watcher of recent trends in the Nigerian banking sector, I observed that a lot have been said about having a global bank emerge from Nigeria. One way I foresee this happening, and patiently wait to see it happen, is from what I term Africa’s “merger of the decade” between UBA and Zenith Bank Plc.

UBA’s current assets base stands at about N1.64trillion and Zenith’s stands at about N1.1trillion as seen on their website. The merger would hopefully bring about combined assets base of almost N3trillion and would first of all confer the new bank, “UBA Zenith Bank Plc,” the position of one of Africa’s largest banks and secondly witness the renaissance of a global brand from Africa. This would be followed by massive expansion thrusts into almost all the major African cities and also extending to Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East. There would be branches springing up in cities like Kampala, Johannesburg, Gaborone, Casablanca, Nairobi, London, New York, Dubai, Paris, Washington DC and so on. There would also be considerable continental mix in the new bank’s board appointments and recruitment policy.

The new bank would be better equipped to comfortably undertake massive development projects across the African continent; handle huge financial transactions on behalf of Africans in Diaspora, partner with World Bank, ADB, other global banks and Clubs of Creditors alike; be more accomplished to manage foreign reserves of several African countries, and centrally “drive the wheel” of development across Africa. This is because only a global African bank can better serve the interest and development of Africa.

The likelihood for this merger is not far-fetched. There have been insinuations about when Mr. Jim Ovia, GMD of Zenith Bank would retire from his position at the bank; I reckon that he would not retire soon. In furtherance, when the merger is consummated Mr. Ovia would carry on as Group Chairman of the new UBA Zenith Plc, while Mr. Tony Elumelu would continue steering the ship as Group MD.

I foresee a huge boost in the market price of the new bank’s stocks, which would by then be the toast of the market and hot-cake for investors. Also, the multiplier effect of such a merger would be astonishing. It may take a while for this to happen, but let’s Siddon-Look and patiently await the glorious wedding day.

Ugwushi Bellema Ihua

Canterbury, United Kingdom

Written by
Bell’ Ihua
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  • Hmm Dr. Bell, although your theory did not turnout as you stated, yet i get the logic behind it… At least we experienced several mergers by banks operating within the banking industry, and i even think the future may still prove you right if the big boys in those banks don’t allow ego to put them down… Because i really think this is the onlyway Africa can thrive… By putting resources together… Keep well Bell…

  • Really that would be the day. It is a tantalising prospect but will egos not get in the way of such a merger. Let’s siddon look. Till then