Chairman and Founder of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr Jim Ovia is expected to earn a whopping N7.95 billion in dividends for the financial year ended December 2017.
The billionaire is the single majority shareholder of Zenith Bank, Nigeria’s largest bank by Asset Base, owning directly about 2,946,199,395 out of the 31,396,493,787 ordinary shares available. This gives him a 9.38% interest in the bank.
The Board of Directors of the bank proposed a final dividend of N2.45 per share which in addition to the N0.25 per share paid as interim dividend last year. This takes the total dividend paid for the year to N2.70 per share.
A simple multiplication of the dividend by the number of direct shares owned by Mr Jim Ovia reveals he will receive a gross dividend of about N7,954,738,366.50 for dividends declared in 2017 by the bank. A dividend is subject to a 10% withholding tax in Nigeria. This is by far more than what 90% of companies quoted on the Nigerian Companies earn annually in profits.
It is also interesting to note that Jim Ovia also has an indirect holding of 1,593,494,151 in Zenith Bank. This amounts to another N4.3 billion in dividends. An indirect holding means Jim Ovia is a direct shareholder in a company that owns direct shares in Zenith Bank. If he also owns the entity, then he will effectively be set to receive a combined N12.3 billion in dividends.
Last year, Jim Ovia also reportedly earned about N5.95 billion in dividend following a dividend payment of N2.02 for the year.
The 2017 dividend will be approved by shareholders of the bank at an AGM scheduled for April 13, 2018.