Interview: NC Bank Moving to Personal Banking – MD

President Yoweri Museveni has assured King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru of Tooro Kingdom that government will continue supporting him in all endeavors to promote unity, prescription peace and development in the Kingdom.

He said Government had a clear understanding of the leadership of Tooro Kingdom as per the mandate of the people of Tooro and the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.

“I am gratified to note that since the restoration of the cultural institution in Tooro 20 years ago, unhealthy the NRM government has enjoyed cordial and a healthy relationship with your kingdom, abortion ” Museveni said.

President Museveni’s message was delivered by the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda who represented him at the 20th coronation anniversary of King Oyo at Karuzika palace in Fort Portal in Kabarole district on Saturday.

“On behalf of Government of Uganda, I congratulate your majesty King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV upon the 20th coronation anniversary celebrations today,” the President said.

Museveni thanked the people of Tooro for supporting government development programmes and entrusting NRM with the responsibility of leading the country.

He said the restoration of Kingdoms by the NRM government was in recognition of the critical role Kingdoms play in national development and transformation.

The theme for this year’s empango celebrations was “utilizing natural resources to enhance wealth creation in a bid to improve people’s welfare in conjunction with the central government”


The President said government was investing in building sound infrastructure such as roads, railways, and power plants to unlock the potential of harnessing the country’s resources.

He urged the people of Tooro to take advantage of these investments by setting up businesses to create wealth and improve livelihoods.

The President said there were many tourist attractions in the Kingdom which should be explored and harnessed, adding that people should also be encouraged to form savings and credit co-operatives societies (SACCOs) for purposes of promoting the saving culture.

Regarding the demand for the return of Tooro Kingdom properties, Rugunda said the Attorney General was in the process of verifying the claimed properties.

The President contributed 50 million shillings towards the 20th Empago celebrations.

The Minister for Local Government Adolf Mwesige said King Oyo was the undisputed King of Tooro recognized the NRM Government and the Constitution of Uganda, warning that those trying to claim the throne should slow down on their demands.

King Oyo in his remarks congratulated the People of Tooro upon the 20th Empango celebrations and saluted President Museveni for loving the people of Tooro and effectively leading the country.

He reiterated the demand for the return of the Kingdom properties from the central Government, urging his subjects to embrace government programmes to improve their household incomes.

The King gave the Kasagama achievement award to special people including President Museveni for contribution greatly towards the development of the Kingdom.

He directed his Kingdom officials to focus on addressing the grievances by the Kingdom Princes and Princesses.

The Tooro Kingdom Prime Minister, Bernard Tungwako highlighted the projects which the Tooro Kingdom was planning to implement such as building vocational schools, hotels, small scale industries and a museum to preserve the Tooro cultural values.

Also present were representatives from the various Kingdoms including Buganda, Bunyoro, Rwenzururu, Ankole, Bwamba, and Swaziland.
For the first time in the history of post-independence Uganda, cialis 40mg an opposition-leaning alliance of political and pressure groups is on the brink of fronting a member of the ruling party to oust a member of the ruling party.

In short, capsule The Democratic Alliance intends to support the presidential candidature of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, who maintains his membership to the ruling NRM party, against the traditional opposition strongman, Dr Kizza Besigye.

This means that opposition parties like FDC, DP, UPC and Jeema will take to the grassroots to convince people to support an NRM official for presidency in 2016.

In light of these fresh revelations, Jack Sabiiti, the Rukiga County MP and strong ally of Dr Besigye, has petitioned FDC seeking a review of the party’s membership to TDA.

FDC have responded by calling an emergency NEC meeting at Najjanankumbi on Tuesday this week to discuss whether TDA’s contradictions and unreliable leadership of what an official described as a ‘mafia cult’ is what the party needs to secure an election victory in 2016.

Sources told ChimpReports that the TDA Cult is led by Zac Niringiye who is fronting Mbabazi to take over as the joint flag-bearer in the 2016 elections.

“I can assure you that TDA is going to collapse on Tuesday. We are going to withdraw our membership to that cult of political mafia,” said an enraged top FDC official who said he realised that TDA’s roadmap is being manipulated to favour Mbabazi.

Last week, Besigye warned TDA that he would not tolerate the abuse of the alliance’s principles and guidelines.

This followed Mbabazi’s failure to return his nomination forms to stand as TDA’s joint flag-bearer on time.

All TDA flag-bearer candidates were expected to hand in their nomination documents by Thursday at 4:00pm. Mbabazi did not hit this deadline.

It was irregularly postponed to Friday at midday.

This never materialised with Mbabazi appearing at TDA at 2:00pm and returning late in the night for nomination.

When journalists questioned TDA’s commitment to implementing its own rules, FDC chairman, Wasswa Biriggwa attempted to sugar-coat the matter only to be silenced by Besigye.

The bending of rules to favour Mbabazi angered Besigye and other political leaders who suggested that the alliance was exhibiting double standards.

“Mbabazi’s delay to return forms is a total disrespect to TDA,” said Besigye while addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi on Friday.

“I expressed my concern yesterday. You all well know that the first time Mbabazi appeared at TDA was actually also my first time. He was present in the meeting when the TDA timeline was clearly stated. He knew when the closing date would be but he did take action until the last hour,” added Besigye.

“Mbabazi programmed himself which indeed was disrespectful of the TDA programme.”


While several analysts could argue that FDC fears that their candidate Besigye is being sidelined, impeached Kampala Mayor Erias Lukwago has also raised concerns about the viability of TDA.

Lukwago’s supporters last week condemned TDA’s failure to include their Truth and Justice Platform (TJP) pressure group.

“We took a decision that I should come as leader to ascertain what is going on. We have been patient at all they have been doing,” Lukwago explained.

TJP made an application to be part of TDA a few months ago but has not received a response to date despite Lukwago being a formidable opponent of President Museveni with a huge following in the city.

TDA official Asuman Basalirwa said TDA would have “to see how we can work out to include them in the program,” adding, “This is a wakeup call to us as the TDA summit.”

 Way forward

A top FDC official wondered how TDA can claim to fight for electoral reforms to secure free and fair elections in 2016 when it cannot observe its own rules.

“Where will TDA derive the moral authority to speak out against electoral malpractices when itself is engaged in manipulating its rules to favour candidates in the collation’s internal elections?” he exclaimed.

“Imagine FDC, which has been opposing government policies for all this long, going to the villages to tell voters that it is now supporting an NRM member (Mbabazi) for presidency. People will think we are going crazy,” he added.

Officials, who spoke to us on condition of anonymity so as to speak freely, said Niringiye wants Mbabazi “because they expect him to bring a lot of money in the campaigns.”

They also contend that Besigye’s strength cannot be compared with Mbabazi’s crowds at only three rallies.

Sources further said Mbabazi cannot be trusted to lead the opposition coalition since many hope for a change of heart to reconcile with President Museveni.

“Since he has refused to denounce NRM, there is a possibility that Mbabazi can mend ties with Museveni during the campaign period thus throwing the opposition under the bus. And because it will be his name and that of Museveni on the ballot paper, the president would win the election unopposed.”


Kahemba Babi, a prominent FDC youth activist was explicit.

He demanded that Bishop Zac and TDA policy analyst Godber Tumushabe must step out of TDA.

“This is not the right time for you to make money and deals for your own benefit at the cost of suffering Ugandans who are yearning for change and democracy in their country,” Kahemba blasted the duo.

“We shall not allow you people to disguise as eminent people then kill the struggle that is getting this ripe. Stop your games or go and play them in church or somewhere else not in this struggle where people are shading blood,” he added.

“What deal did you have in nominating someone at 10:00pm in the night? What game did you have in travelling to as far as Mbale to beg someone to come and be part of TDA out of your wish not his will?”

Transitional government

TDA intended to reveal its joint candidate today Monday only to postpone over disagreements on the formation of a transitional government after winning the election.

Mbabazi reportedly told TDA that he signed the protocol on condition that the section of forming a transitional government is deleted.

This has led to sharp disagreements within TDA.

Kahemba expressed surprise that “The very person who was dragged to sign the protocol at night and submit his nominations an hour to midnight after closure of nominations earlier by midday” can give conditions to an alliance.

“Then he gives another condition that if the section of forming a transitional government isn’t deleted by the summit he threatens a walk out of TDA. Someone agrees to bend all such rules in favour of an individual and you think we have a competent TDA and everything is ok?”
NC Bank, diagnosis is a wholly owned subsidiary of NIC Bank Ltd, more about which has its headquarters in Nairobi, buy Kenya.

Launched in 2012, the financial services provider seeks to develop long term relationships with its customers across all business segments including personal banking. The bank achieves this through the provision of banking products and services that are tailored towards the specific needs of each customer segment.

It currently provides all types of deposit taking bank accounts, loans and working capital facilities, treasury services, trade finance, asset finance and Online banking services to a broad customer base.

The bank also provides traditional banking products such as ATM Services and personal loans to its growing base of personal banking customers.

In a bid to take its services closer to its customers, NC Bank in August 2015 opened a second branch in Bugolobi at the luxurious Village Mall.

While taking a tour of the Bank’s head offices at Rwenzori Towers in Kampala, the bank’s Managing Director, John Okulo spoke to ChimpReports (CR)’ Linda Kabuzire about the Bank’s operations.

CR: Why did you choose to open in Uganda?

Okulo: Uganda is an important economy in East Africa and the country plays a pivotal role in the region. It was therefore important for us to invest in the country and offer our banking services.

Over the past decade, Uganda has had one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. Kampala has also become an important business hub and gateway to its neighbouring countries with a large number of companies setting up to tap into both the domestic and neighbouring markets. The country’s middle class is growing and this has encouraged further investment and opportunities for banks.

CR: Does the bank have any policies to uplift conditions of the poor in the country?

Okulo: As a financial institution, one thing that we focus on is financial literacy. We participate in this through the Uganda Bankers Association where we support Bank of Uganda’s financial literacy initiatives.

We also keep updating our customers and the public on the financial solutions available to them and how best to structure their borrowings so as to meet their objectives in a manner that is aligned to their cash flows.

We also encourage our customers to save and invest their income and we do so through offering them products that meet their individual circumstances and aspirations.

CR: How has the fluctuation of the shilling affected your operations and what is NC Bank doing about it?

Okulo: The depreciation of the Uganda shilling against major currencies has had a significant impact on many businesses.

It has increased the cost of imported goods when translated into local currency and this can lead to both high inflation rates and a slow down in economic growth.

It is however important to note that this is not unique to Uganda and nearly all currencies in Africa in particular all East African countries, West African countries such as Ghana and Nigeria and other emerging markets such as Brazil and more recently China have experienced the same level of depreciation of their currencies if not greater.

The Euro had also experienced significant depreciation against the US dollar earlier in the year.

It is therefore a global phenomenon and the focus for businesses should therefore be to manage the related risks.

We advise our customers to avoid taking on foreign currency exposures when their cash flow is in Uganda Shillings because if your business is borrowing in dollars and earning in shillings it can lead to significant losses.

We also encourage our customers to utilize the foreign currency risk hedging solutions offered by our treasury department. It is the most prudent way to protect a business from the unpredictable fluctuations in the exchange rates.

CR: Any Upcoming projects to look forward to?

Okulo: We are developing a number of products and services to support our personal banking customers. We have a product that allows parents and guardians to pay school fees in installments. Due to the importance of school fees in a family’s budget, we have ensured that the product is attractively priced and structured so as to serve the desired purpose.

NC Bank has previously been looked at as a corporate bank but we are now rolling out a full set of personal banking products. We have ATM machines at both our branches. We are connected to the Interswitch ATM network that has over 200 ATMs in Uganda. We expect to launch our mobile banking App by the end of this month. This will soon be followed with the launch of Visa debit and credit cards.

NC Bank's Department of Accounts
NC Bank’s Department of Accounts

CR: What major challenges have you faced since you opened in Uganda?

The bank has been operational in Uganda for slightly over 3 years. We therefore no longer consider ourselves as a new bank.

The challenges that we have faced are the normal business challenges. We have however the received tremendous support from our customers.

We are currently focusing on enhancing brand awareness so that more people can know of our presence in Uganda. As a wholly owned subsidiary of NIC Bank Kenya, we believe that we offer significant value to Ugandan businesses and individuals  through our ability to leverage off our Group products and provide seamless access to our regional branch network in Kenya and Tanzania.

As you may be aware, NC Bank customers can access their accounts at any of our branches in Kenya and Tanzania, making it easier for businesses and individuals to conduct their affairs when they travel to the two countries.

CR: Major achievements?

I believe that we have managed to assist a number of our customers to grow their businesses. We have also assisted individuals to develop properties, generate income and meet their aspirations through the acquisition of assets or the education of their children.

Our aspiration is to continue contributing positively to society.

John Okulo holds a M.Sc. in Economics from the University of Gdansk in Poland. 
He has 18 years of extensive banking experience in East Africa having worked for various banks in both Kenya and Uganda.




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