Nigerian Companies spent about N11.3 billion as charitable donations for the year ended December 2018 compared to about N10 billion a year earlier. This is based on publicly available information from about 17 of the most capitalized companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The information was sourced from the annual reports of these companies and excludes donations from private companies.
Companies are encouraged to contribute part of their revenues as charitable donations in line with their Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR policies. Some of the donations are tax-deductible while others do not qualify for tax deductions. In Nigeria, companies decide how, when and who they donate their money to.
Highest Donors: A cursory review of the data gathered shows Zenith Bank donated a whopping N3 billion in the year ended December 2018, by far the largest donor of any company on our list. Closest to Zenith Bank was Dangote Cement, donating about N2.2 billion. Other high donors during the year were MTN with N1.45 billion and UBA with about N1 billion. GT Bank donated about N928 million
The banking sector also remains one of the highest donors surveyed. The banks on our list contributed about N5.6 billion in 2018 alone towards CSR related projects. Banks also make the most profits so this was expected.
Receivers: Of curious interest to us was whom they donated most of the money to. Zenith Bank, the highest donor, gave out N1.5 billion of its cash to the “States Security Trust Funds”. This made up about half its total donations. Dangote Cement did not breakdown how it deployed its own donations.
UBA another major donor gave out about N327 million to security-related donations. CBN received about N400 million, N295 million, and N200 million from UBA, GTB and Zenith Bank respectively towards Financial inclusion related initiatives. GT Bank spends most of its donations on Education related activities.
MTN channels most of its donations to its MTN Foundation non-profit organisation which claims it is focussed on Education, Economic Empowerment and Health.
Upshots: Donation is a critical aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility and it is interesting to see how most companies contribute towards this. Unfortunately, there is not enough transparency in terms of how this is reported. While banks list out their donations in details, other industries do not provide enough detail in their annual reports. This makes it difficult to provide a comprehensive assessment of CSR activities of quoted companies in the country.
We also did not observe any consistency in how donations are made across specific industries. For example, in the brewery sector, Internation Breweries led the pack with about N116 million. Nigeria Breweries its rival spent about N58 million. Guinness did not disclose theirs. In the agricultural sector, Okomu oil spent about N260 million compared to Presco, its main competitor, N39 million. This indicates a lack of competition in how CSR is implemented within sectors.
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Fidelity Bank Plc must cover the chink in its curtains to keep rising
Fidelity Bank Plc follows the narrative of top tier-2 banks, which have had better or easier years.
The Nigerian banking sector has consistently been one of the most profitable sectors in the Nigeria Stock Exchange market. However, in 2020, Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) have faced a flurry of impediments, which may have affected their solidity.
With reduced income from fee and commission implemented at the start of the year by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the paucity of foreign currency for international transactions, the resulting economic contraction from dire effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and the consequent operational constraints of keeping employees safe, 2020 is obviously fraught with numerous disorders for banking institutions.
For most, it hasn’t exactly been a year for growth at all, more like a walk in the woods, where improvements to bottom-line is almost unexpected. This period, many banks seem content with simply surviving and fundamentally matching their previous feats.
Fidelity Bank Plc follows the narrative of top tier-2 banks, which have had better or easier years. The bank generated a 2020 9M PAT of N20.4billion, rising 7.08% from the corresponding figures last year, but drilling solely into its results in Q3’2020 and its exact comparative period in 2019, the bank suffered reduced interest revenue, reduced fees and commission, reduced profit before tax, and reduced after-tax profit.
Fidelity Bank Plc concluded Q3 with a profit position of N9.1billion, 13.7% decline compared to its position in 2019 y/y. PBT reduced by 12.9% from N10.8billion in 2019 to N9.4billion this year. Gross earning in Q3 was only N49billion as against N57billion in 2019 – plummeting 14%.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, commenting on the result said: “Our 9 months results reflect our resilient business model, particularly in a very challenging operating environment. We worked closely with our customers to gradually recover from the economic impact of the pandemic and the attendant effect of the lockdown. The drop in gross earnings was due to the decline in interest and similar income, caused by lower yields and drop in fee income.”
True cause of the reduction in earnings
DMBs generate gross earnings under three primary subheads: Interests earned, Fees and commission, and Other operating income. Fidelity Bank Plc generated a combined total of N150.8billion for the period ended September 2020 from these three categories, compared to the N158.5billion in the corresponding period last year.
Deeper analysis reveals that this rising tier-2 bank has seen more deficit in revenue from fee and commission compared to the other aforementioned gross-earnings’ generating-sources within this period. Interest earned dropped by a difference of N4.3billion, while revenue from fee and commission saw a decline of N4.8billion from N14.5billion in 2019 to N19.3billion YoY.
Fee and commission as a component of gross earnings
Card maintenance fees, account maintenance fees, commission on remittances, collect fees, telex fees, electronic transfer fees, amongst others, represent the plethora of channels that makes up income from fee and commission.
The real insight this particular component of gross earnings provides is that a spike in revenue generated indicates increasing/increased customer account activity. The more a customer maximizes the usage of an account’s product and facilities, the more the revenue earned from this segment. Thus, earnings from fees and commissions are so overriding due to their apparent controllability.
For example, a bank could make the decision to purely pursue and aggressively drive the usage of its ATM debit card and promptly see the revenue from commission rise. Furthermore, an increased rate of card production and collection necessitates usage and consequently means more money is earned as card maintenance fees.
The fact that gross earnings reduced mostly from fees and commissions should be a telling concern for the Management of Fidelity Bank Plc. Post covid-19 would birth the dawn of a new era for business processes. The management must guarantee the usability of its electronic banking channels, promotion of its cards, and with urgency, implement improved service delivery mechanisms to ensure that it is the first port of call to customers for general payments and remittances.
These measures are of grave significance in the bid to bridge its widened fee and commission income gap.
Holistically, in the 9 months ended September, it is worthy of note that the bank made certain advancements. Customer Deposits, Net Loans and Total Assets all grew in double digits. Customer Deposits grew by 22.3% from N1.2billion to N1.5billion, Total Assets also rose by 21% from N2.1billion in 2019 to N2.5billion, and Net Loans rose by 12.9% to N1.3billion from N1.1billion.
Airtel is paying up its debts
Airtel’s annual report revealed that the company has a repayment of $890 million due in May, as well as, an installment of $505 million due in March 2023.
Airtel’s presence in 14 countries from East Africa to Central and West Africa would have been impossible without relevant financial investments. But, while the funds have been key to its growth in the past few years, many of its financial obligations are starting to mature quickly.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had negative economic effects on different sectors of the economy; however, the resilience of the telecom sector is evident in an increase in Airtel’s income. The overall performance of Airtel increased with a revenue growth in constant currency of 19.6% in Q2 compared to 16.4% recorded in Q1, while revenue on reported basis increased by 10.7% to $1.82 billion, with Q2 revenue growth of 14.3%.
Unilever Nigeria Plc: Change in management has had mixed impact
9 months into the change of management, Unilever Nigeria Plc’s performance in Nigeria has been largely underwhelming.
Change in the management of a company is never a walk in the park. Transitions usually take time to yield the desired results. Organizations can look to past successful managerial transitions for inspiration, but not for instruction because there is no defined playbook. The decision to replace Mr Yaw Nsarkoh, who served as the Managing Director of Unilever Nigeria Plc until the end of 2019 was plausible, but adjustments were never going to be an easy task.
Mr Nsarkoh had served as Managing Director of the company for 5 years and steered the course of its proceedings with remarkable skill up until the financial performance disaster which culminated in his resignation on November 28th, 2019.