UBAL Emerges as the highest donor to the Ebola fight in the banking Industry in Liberia
When the virulent Ebola virus disease (EVD) broke out like wide fire in the harmattan littering the streets of Monrovia and environs with corpses ten months ago, many international and national institutions either shot their doors or scaled down their workforce as precautionary measure to safe dear life.
The Government of Liberia took the lead when the “non-essentials” compulsory vacation scheme was initiated, which government said was meant to decongest Ministries and Agencies during the fight against the unknown enemy-Ebola.
The situation was exacerbated when major international airlines and commercial ships pulled out or were advised not to come to Liberia.
As a result, major goods and services went out of supply, thus, putting more pressure on the already fragile economy.
Government revenue generation dropped almost to a breaking point, in one occasion, Finance and Development Minister lamented that Government was losing millions on a monthly basis in revenue collection as a result of the EVD outbreak.
Recently during one of the regular Government- organized press briefings, Finance and development Minister, Amara konneh described the state of the Nation’s economy as a complete trouble, reporting an economic growth projection from 5.9% in 2013 to a record low of negative 0.4% in 2014. “Our economy is in serious trouble”, Minister Konneh said.
In spites of these troubling developments, the banks remained opened in Liberia; the Central bank of Liberia, Dr. Mills Jones recently observed that the industry was determined to stay on during this crisis period despite weak profitability”.
Standing taller among the nine banks in Liberia has been the United Bank for Africa (UBA).
The strong and determined Liberia team under the dynamic leadership of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Chioma Mang, adopted several additional anti-Ebola preventive measures in addition to health protocols announced by the Ministry of Health of Liberia, to ensure that staff and customer remain safe. Prominent among the measures agreed in senior Management meeting was the procurement of canopies and waiting chairs which were deployed at the front of each branch office where customers coming for transactions were seated and ushered into the banking halls in smaller numbers on a first come, first served basis to decongest the banking halls.