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ACCESS BANK (SL) LTD STRENGTHENS LEADERSHIP TEAM WITH KEYBOARD APPOINTMENTS, NAMES NEW CHAIRMAN

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Access Bank Sierra Leone Ltd (‘Access Bank (SL) Ltd’) has announced the appointment of new executives to its Board of Directors (‘the Board’), further strengthening its leadership team and advancing the implementation of its growth and transformation strategy. These appointments also reflect the Bank’s commitment to fostering growth and development while maintaining the highest standards of governance and stewardship.

Joining the Board as Non-Executive Directors are Maurice Nathaniel Cole, Nsikak N. Usoro, Michala Mackay, Ibrahim Khalil Lamin, and Kolawole Augustine Ajimoko. The appointees boast a wealth of expertise from diverse sectors, including banking, telecommunications, corporate governance, compliance, and finance. Their combined
experience and vision will contribute to shaping the future trajectory of Access Bank (SL) Ltd. Cole will serve as Chairman, following the exit of Alice Marie Onomake and will bring his experience to the fore as Access Bank (SL) Ltd works to consolidate its market position and deliver value for all its stakeholders.

 

“We are thrilled to welcome our new executives to Access Bank (SL) Ltd,” said Ganiyu Sanni, Country Managing Director, Access Bank Sierra Leone Ltd. “Their leadership and vision will be invaluable as we navigate through challenges and pursue sustained success. We extend our gratitude to the outgoing Chairman, Alice Marie
Onomake, and Non-Executive Director, Aminata B. Dumbuya, for their dedicated service and contributions to the Bank.” Access Bank (SL) Ltd remains committed to excellence, transparency, and accountability as it embarks on this exciting new chapter. The Bank looks forward to leveraging the collective expertise of its leadership team to drive innovation, foster growth, and create lasting impact for its customers and communities.

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Federal Government to Audit N2.8tn Fuel Subsidy Request Submitted by NNPCL

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The President Bola Ahmed Tinubu led Federal Government has made its intention known to initiate a new audit of the N2.8tn fuel subsidy request submitted by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

An auditing firm, KPMG has successfully completed an initial audit that resulted in a reduction of the claims from N6 trillion to N2.7 trillion.

The federal government is exploring the option of involving an independent audit firm or instructing the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation to authenticate the assertions put forth by the corporation concerning the government’s outstanding debt to the oil company. The current move will ensure transparency and also ensure financial discipline in disbursing government funds which is in line to the administrations quest to curb corruption.

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Access Holdings Vests 23.8 million Units of Shares on Senior Executives

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In line with the disclosure requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Nigerian Exchange Limited, Access Holdings Plc , Africa’s leading financial services group, has announced the award of 23.8 million ordinary shares to some of its senior executives and executives of  Access Bank, its flagship subsidiary. This is in pursuant of the terms of its shareholders approved Employees Performance Share Plan.

Bolaji Agbede, the Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, Roosevelt Ogbonna, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, and six others were vested with 23,883,790 units of the Group’s shares, worth a combined N427.13 million.

This was disclosed via notices duly filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Tuesday.

According to the filings, Ogbonna got the highest amount of shares totalling 12,345,679 units and worth N220.37 million, having been traded at N17.85 per share.

Agbede was vested with 2,216,992 units of shares, valued at N39.795 million.

Other directors, who had shares vested include Seyi Kumapayi, Executive Director, African Subsidiaries, Access Bank, with 1,234,568 worth N22.16 million; Iyabo SojiOkusanya, Executive Director, Commercial and Investment Banking Division, Access Bank, with 1,691,308 at N17.95 per share. Her vested shares are valued at N30.36 million, and Chizoma Okoli, Access Bank’s Deputy Managing Director, Retail South, who got 1,728,395 units valued at N30.85 million.

Dr Gregory Jobome, Executive Director, Risk Management, and Hadiza Ambursa, Executive Director, Commercial Banking, were each vested with 1,728,395 valued at N30.85 and N31.02m respectively. Access Holdings’ Company Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, was vested with 1,210,058 units of the Group’s shares worth N21.72m.

The shares were vested on May 3rd and May 6th.

The vesting of the shares is not a purchase or sale transaction in the context of the Exchange’s Rules.

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ZENITH BANK’S LANDMARK N125.59 BILLION DIVIDEND PAYOUT EXCITES SHAREHOLDERS

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Shareholders of Zenith Bank Plc, at the 33rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Wednesday, 8 May 2024, approved the proposed final dividend payment of NGN3.50 per share, bringing the total dividend for the 2023 financial year to NGN4.00 per share, with a total value of NGN125.59 billion, which is the highest dividend payout by any bank.

In his opening statement at the Annual General Meeting, Dr. Jim Ovia, CFR, Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, thanked the shareholders for their unflinching support and loyalty to the Zenith brand which has been instrumental to the bank’s consistent superior performance.

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, thanked the Founder and Chairman, Jim Ovia, CFR, for his mentorship, which has been instrumental to his success in the last five years as CEO, and for providing the pedestal for the bank’s continued superior performance. In his words, “As I prepare to pass the baton to Dame (Dr) Adaora Umeoji, OON, I am confident in the bank’s trajectory under her leadership. I would like to express my profound gratitude to our Founder and Chairman, Dr Jim Ovia, CFR, and to the board, shareholders, customers, and staff for their steadfast support throughout my tenure. I earnestly request that you extend the same level of support to my successor. It has been a remarkable journey, and I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished together. As I commence the mandatory regulatory cooling-off period, I am filled with optimism for Zenith Bank’s future, assured that we are on the path to even greater success.”

Speaking on the dividend payout, Mrs. Bisi Bakare, National Coordinator of the Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, expressed her delight in the exceptional performance of the bank, as evidenced by the numerous awards received during the 2023 financial year. She remarked, “We shareholders are very pleased today to receive a final dividend of N3.50 kobo from Zenith Bank. Following an interim dividend of 50 kobo paid last December, the total dividend for the 2023 Annual General Meeting amounts to N4.00— the highest in the banking sector to date. We truly appreciate this and are optimistic that the transition to a Holding Company will bring even greater returns. Zenith Bank’s numerous accolades this year clearly position it as the leading bank in the country. We anticipate that the 2024 AGM, marking the first year as a Holding Company, will be even more promising for Zenith.”

At the AGM, Dr. Faruk Umar, President of the Association of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders (AARNS), expressed his gratitude to the Chairman for facilitating a seamless succession plan. He stated, “The bank has performed exceptionally well, particularly in terms of succession planning. It’s encouraging to see the new Managing Director promoted from within, reinforcing our belief in the bank’s leadership development. This internal promotion strategy motivates our staff, giving them confidence that they can aspire to the highest levels within the bank.”

Chief Timothy Adesiyan, President of the Shareholders Solidarity Association of Nigeria, praised the Chairman and Management of Zenith Bank for their consistent delivery of value to shareholders. He noted, “The bank’s rapid growth can be attributed to the diligent oversight by our Founder, who is also a core investor and actively monitors all operations. This growth is further supported by our adherence to strict corporate governance principles. The bank’s performance metrics are clearly delineated and managed by dedicated committees, ensuring accountability and responsiveness. As a stakeholder, I am very pleased with their performance and attentive response to any concerns raised.”

In spite of challenging macroeconomic conditions coupled with economic headwinds, Zenith Bank Group achieved a remarkable triple-digit growth of 125% in gross earnings, from NGN945.6 billion in the previous year to NGN2.132 trillion in 2023. This was driven by a 112% YoY growth in interest income and a 141% YoY growth in non-interest income. Customer deposits grew by 69%, reflecting the bank’s market leadership and customers’ trust. Operating expenses grew by 32% YoY.Total assets rose by 66%, largely due to growth in total deposits and the revaluation of foreign currency deposits

In 2024, Zenith Bank Group plans to expand its reach following its restructuring into a holding company structure, adding new verticals to its businesses and pursuing growth in all chosen markets, locally and internationally.

Zenith Bank’s track record of excellent performance has continued to earn the brand numerous awards, including being recognised as Best Bank in Nigeria, for the fourth time in five years, from 2020 to 2022 and in 2024, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards; the Best Bank for Digital Solutions in Nigeria in the EuromoneyAwards 2023, being listed in the World Finance Top 100 Global Companies in 2023; being recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital, for the 14th consecutive year, in the 2023 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria, for three consecutive years from 2021 to 2023, in the World Finance Banking Awards; Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022 and 2023; Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020 and 2022; Best in Corporate Governance’ Financial Services’ Africa, for four successive years from 2020 to 2023, by the Ethical Boardroom; Most Sustainable Bank, Nigeria in the International Banker 2023 Banking Awards; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation in Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards.

Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021; Bank of the Year 2023 and Retail Bank of the Year for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. Similarly, Zenith Bank was named Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Bank of the Year 2021 by Champion Newspaper, Bank of the Year 2022 by New Telegraph Newspaper, and Most Responsible Organisation in Africa 2021 by SERAS

 

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