Shareholders of FCMB Group Plc have again applauded the financial institution for its resilience, dynamism and impressive performance recorded last year despite the challenging operating environment.
The shareholders, who gave the commendation at the 7thAnnual General Meeting (AGM) of the Group on April 28, 2020, at its corporate head office in Lagos, also unanimously approved the payment of a cash dividend of 14 kobo per ordinary share, which translates to N2.77 billion, for the year ended December 31, 2019.
The AGM was held by proxy, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic, and streamed live via www.fcmb.com/AGM to shareholders of the financial institution who were unable to physically attend due to the lockdown imposed by the Government. The decision to hold the AGM by proxy was to avoid unnecessary physical contact among attendees and in line with the social distancing protocol to avoid the spread of the pandemic. The meeting was previously scheduled before COVID-19 hit Nigeria.
FCMB Group is a holding company divided along with three business groups; Commercial and Retail Banking (First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited); Corporate & Investment Banking (the Corporate Banking Division of the Bank, FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited) as well as Asset & Wealth Management (FCMB Pensions Limited, FCMB Asset Management Limited and FCMB Trustees Limited).
The Chairman of FCMB Group, Mr Oladipupo Jadesimi, along with the Group Chief Executive, Mr Ladi Balogun, Company Secretary/General Counsel, Mrs Funmi Adedibu, a Director, Mr Olusegun Odubogun, Chief Operating Officer of the Group, Mr Peter Obaseki, representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission as well as leaders of shareholder Associations, were present at the meeting.
The Chairman noted that in compliance with the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), a quorum was formed at the meeting to carry on the business of the day.
Presenting the report for the year ended December 31, 2019, Mr Jadesimi stated that all the three business groups within FCMB Group Plc reported improved performances, in terms of higher earnings and profits, compared to what was achieved in 2018. He expressed gratitude to shareholders for joining the meeting as well as their unflinching support, which has made FCMB wax stronger. According to him, “the Board of Directors have adopted a policy that seeks to provide investors with a stable and sustainable form of capital distribution, with consideration given to the growth and capital requirements of the business, thereby maximising long-term share value for shareholders”.
Also speaking at the AGM, the Group Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc, Mr Ladi Balogun, said, “our businesses continue to improve with growth in other key indicators, such as loans and advances, deposits and Assets Under Management (AUM), which grew by 13.1%, 14.7% and 28.3%, respectively. Our customer base also grew by 27.5% across the Group from 5.5 million to 7 million. Overall customer satisfaction has shown positive trends, with a net promoter score of 31 in Banking and 23 in Asset Management”.
Mr Balogun further reported that “the Commercial and Retail Banking Group grew its profit by 20% driven by improved performance in our consumer finance business, as we continue to expand our digital products offerings and channels. Commercial and Retail Banking remains the largest contributor to the Group’s profits with 92%. Assets managed by our Asset and Wealth Management businesses increased by over 28% to over N403 billion at the end of the year”.
He assured that 2020 will see a number of the financial institution’s digital initiatives coming of age, adding that these are expected to be substantial.
Going by the results, FCMB Group’s gross revenue in 2019 increased to N188 billion compared to N177.2billion in 2018. The strong performance also manifested in profit before tax, which rose by 9% to N20.1 billion. The financial results also showed that net interest income increased by 5% Year-on-Year (YoY) to N76 billion for the twelve months of 2019 from N72.6 billion within the same period in 2018. In a demonstration of enhanced customers confidence in FCMB, deposits grew to N943.1 billion in December 2019, as against N863.4 billion in September 2019. Loans and advances disbursed by the Group as at the end of December 2019 stood at N715.9 billion, representing a rise of 12% (Quarter-on-Quarter, QoQ), compared to N638.1 billion in September 2019.
Total assets of the Group went up by 10% QoQ to N1.67 trillion in December 2019 from N1.52 trillion in September 2019, just as capital adequacy ratio remained steady at 17.2%, for the Commercial and Retail Banking Group. Post-tax profit increased by 16% to N17.3 billion, this translates to a return on average equity (RoAE) of 9% and earnings per share of 87 kobo, an improvement on 8.2% and 75 kobo, respectively, in 2018.
Shareholders in attendance commended FCMB Group’s Board of Directors for the decision to go ahead with the AGM by proxy at a time when some other companies have decided to cancel their AGMs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Co-ordinator of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, praised the institution for efficiently running its affairs and the appreciable growth recorded in key operating areas. According to him, ‘’the fact that FCMB was able to hold the AGM, and a successful one for that matter, is a welcome development. It shows that the organisation is well prepared and very concerned about the interest of shareholders. We are happy about the result and the dividend payment. This will go a long way to provide some money for shareholders to survive the lockdown. We also note with appreciation the support provided by FCMB to the government, other bodies and businesses to mitigate the effect of COVID-19’’.
On his part, the National Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Boniface Okezie, said, “FCMB Group performed very well in the financial year ended December 31, 2019. The result is encouraging, and the dividend is growing. We urge the Board, Management and Staff to continue in this positive direction. We look forward to seeing more value and gains this year”.
FCMB Group is a frontline financial services institution in Nigeria with subsidiaries that are market leaders in their respective segments. FCMB has continued to distinguish itself through innovation and delivery of exceptional offerings.
FG discusses nation’s carrier, Nigeria Air with US Ambassador
The FG has held a discussion with the US government over the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria.
The federal government has held a discussion with the government of the United States of America over the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika via his Twitter handle after he held a discussion with the Ambassador at the United States Embassy in Abuja.
He tweeted, “We took the opportunity to discuss investments and opportunities in the aviation sector, including national carrier. The partnership looks promising. USA is the only country we have open skies with. Thanks, Ambassador Mary and the team.”
What you should know
In July 2018, the Federal Government unveiled the branding and livery for the new airline, Nigeria Air, and stated that the carrier would be inaugurated at the end of that year.
Sirika unveiled the carrier at a press conference during the Farnborough Air Show in London that year.
“I am very pleased to tell you that we are finally on track to launching a new national flag carrier for our country, Nigeria Air. We are all fully committed to fulfilling the campaign promise made by our President, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015. We are aiming to launch Nigeria Air by the end of this year,” the minister had said.
He also stated that the government had obtained the Certificate of Compliance from the Nigerian Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission and would go into investor search.
SERAP asks Buhari to probe N39.5 billion duplicated, mysterious projects
SERAP has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the reported N39.5 billion duplicated and mysterious projects inserted in the 2021 budget.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the reported N39.5 billion duplicated and mysterious projects inserted in the 2021 budget.
This is to know if public funds have been diverted in the guise of implementing the projects and prosecute those allegedly involved including those from the executive and the National Assembly.
The request from SERAP follows a report from BudgiT last week, where they alleged that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N139.5 billion in the 2021 budget.
This disclosure is contained in a public statement issued by SERAP on Sunday, May 9, 2021, and can be seen on its website.
SERAP said that the investigation of the alleged duplicated and mysterious projects, which are part of the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion, should establish whether public funds have been mismanaged, diverted or stolen in the guise of implementing these projects.
What SERAP is saying in its letter
In the letter dated 8th May 2021 and signed by SERAP, Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare said: “The misallocation of public funds for duplicated and mysterious projects has seriously undermined the ability of the indicted MDAs, and the government to ensure respect for Nigerians’ human rights through developing and implementing well-thought-out policies, plans, and budgets.”
The letter from SERAP partly reads, “BudgIT had in a report last week stated that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5 billion in the 2021 budget. The duplicated and mysterious projects are contained in the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion signed into law in December 2020.”
These damning revelations suggest a grave violation of the public trust, and Nigerians’ rights to education, health, water, sanitation, and clean and satisfactory environment because the indicted MDAs have misallocated public funds at the expense of the people’s access to basic public services, and enjoyment of rights.”
SERAP urges you to ask the heads of the MDAs involved to explain why they allegedly failed to ensure strict compliance with constitutional and international standards of transparency and accountability in the preparation, processes and decisions on their budgets, and to return any misallocated public funds to the public treasury.”
Investigating and prosecuting any allegations of mismanagement, diversion and stealing of public funds budgeted for the 316 duplicated and mysterious projects would allow your government to use the budget to effectively promote Nigerians’ access to essential public goods and services.”
Publishing the ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects would allow Nigerians to hold their government to account in the spending of public funds. This is particularly true for marginalized and excluded groups, such as people living in poverty, women, children, and persons with disabilities, as the budget has a disproportionate impact on their welfare.”
We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”
SERAP also urges you to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning to publish full details of current ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects, and any spending on the projects to date, including the 115 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Health; the 23 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Education, and 10 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Water Resources.
The following ministries are reportedly involved in the duplicated and mysterious projects: Ministry of Health with 115 projects; Ministry of Information and Culture with 40 projects; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with 25 projects; Ministry of Education with 23 projects; Ministry of Transportation with 17 projects; and Ministry of Science and Technology with 17 projects.”
Others are the Ministry of Environment with 13 projects; Ministry of Power with 11 projects; Ministry of Labour and Employment with 11 projects, and Ministry of Water Resources with 10 projects.”
The letter was copied to Mr Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and Mrs Ahmed, the Finance Minister.
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