- Zenith Bank Shareholders Approve N100bn Fresh Capital
The shareholders of Zenith International Bank Plc on Wednesday authorised the board and management and board to raise additional capital of N100bn.
The shareholders gave their mandate for the fresh capital at the bank’s 26th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos.
The shareholders also authorised that the additional capital of N100bn should be raised by way of a public offering, rights issue or any other method deemed fit by the board in local or international market or the combination of both.
They also authorised that the bank’s share capital be increased to N25bn comprising N20bn by the creation of additional 10 billion ordinary shares of 50k each.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Sunny Nwosu, founder, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, commended the bank for the improved performance and final dividend of N1.77 per share in spite of unfriendly operating environment.
Nwosu said that the bank needed to map out strategies aimed at bringing operating expenses to reduce operating cost.
He said that the management must put machinery in place to ensure all loans were recovered.
Mr Nona Awo, a shareholder, said that the bank needed to drive down its unclaimed dividend figure of N3bn as at Dec. 31, 2016.
Awo said that the bank should increase deposit drive by extending tentacles across the country, especially to unbanked areas.
Mr Peter Amangbo, the bank’s Group Managing Director, said that the bank was working closely with registrars to bring down the unclaimed dividend figure.
Amangbo assured the shareholders that the bank would continue to work hard to grow deposit base.
He stated that the company’s focus was on ways to satisfy its esteemed customers with efficient and effective service delivery mechanism.
The bank declared a profit after tax of N129.65bn for the financial year ended December 31, 2016 as against the N105.66bn posted in the preceding period of 2015.
The profit represented an increase of 22.7 percent when compared to figures for 2015.
Its profit before tax stood at N156.75 against the N125.63bn declared in the preceding period of 2015.
The bank’ gross earnings grew by 17.4 per cent to N507. 99bn compared to N432.54bn recorded in 2015.
Its non-interest income increased by 45.9 percent to N25.59bn due to an 809 percent increase in foreign exchange revaluation gains of N25.6bn.
This, however, declined by 10 percent from the N8.2bn reported in nine months of 2016.
The impairment loss on financial assets rose significantly by 106.4 per cent to N32.35bn in 2016 and 34.6 percent based on quarter-on-quarter to N10.2bn in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The board of directors declared a final dividend of N1.77 per share to all its investors against a final dividend of N1.55 per share paid in 2015 and interim dividend of 25k.
The bank had earlier in 2016, paid the sum of 25k as interim dividend, bringing the total dividend in 2016 to N2.02 per share against N1.80 per share declared in 2015.
Dangote Cement Refutes Claim it Sells Cement High in Nigeria
Dangote Cement Plc has refuted the widely propagated story that the company sells cement at a significantly higher price in Nigeria compared to other African nations like Zambia and Ghana.
The management of the leading manufacturing company said it sells a bag at N2,450 in Obajana and Gboko, and N2,510 in Ibese, the amounts stated include VAT.
Devakumar Edwin, Dangote’s Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development & Capital Projects, who spoke with journalists in Lagos, said the company sells for an equivalent of $5.1, including VAT in Nigeria, it sells for $7.2 in Ghana and $5.95 in Zambia ex-factory, inclusive of all taxes.
Devakumar, therefore, described the allegation as false, misleading, and unfounded, and challenged the media to conduct independent investigation into the price of cement in some other African countries, including Cameroun, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Zambia.
“To ensure that we meet local demand, we had to suspend exports from our recently commissioned export terminals, thereby foregoing dollar earnings.
“We also had to reactivate our 4.5m ton capacity Gboko Plant which was closed 4 years ago and run it at a higher cost all in a bid to guarantee that we meet demand and keep the price of Cement within control in the country.”
“Over the past 15 months, our production costs have gone up significantly. About 50% of our costs are linked to USD so the cost of critical components like: gas, gypsum, bags, and spare parts; has increased significantly due to devaluation of the Naira and VAT increase.
“Despite this, DCP has not increased ex-factory prices since December 2019 till date while prices of most other building materials have gone up significantly.
“We have only adjusted our transport rates to account for higher costs of diesel, spare parts, tyres, and truck replacement. Still, we charge our customers only N300 – 350 per bag for deliveries within a 1,200km radius.
“We have been responsible enough not to even attempt to cash in on the recent rise in demand to increase prices so far,” Devakumar said.
Samsung, Vision Care Begin Fresh CSR Activities, Earmark 12,000 Masks for Nigeria
Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria Limited (SHIN) and Vision Care, an international relief organization dedicated to the prevention of blindness, have launched fresh Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to help Nigeria mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
Vision Care is a member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), and participant of ‘VISION 2020’, a global initiative of the IAPB and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Vision Care has since conducted more than 25 Vision Eye Camps yearly and has grown into an international non-profit organisation serving 38 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Central-South America.
Since 2015, SHIN has worked with Vision Care in the yearly Eye Camp as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to provide free cataract surgeries to Nigerians who cannot afford the payment. SHIN has been sponsoring the eye surgeries of Nigerians on a yearly basis.
In 2019, SHIN sponsored the eye surgeries of at least 115 Nigerian patients and 224 outward patients as part of its CSR in Nigeria.
Since it started the programme, SHIN has sponsored the eye surgeries of 572 Nigerian patients, 1,593 outward patients and has also donated glasses to 99 patients.
Due to outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the yearly Eye Camp for 2021 had been called off to adhere to Federal Government’s measures in response to the virus.
Consequently, SHIN and Vision Care came up with a fresh CSR initiative this year to donate 496 bags of rice (25kg) and 12,000 reusable face masks to three states in the country to fulfill their commitment of contributing to the society.
The items will be delivered later this month.
The three states that will benefit from the donation are Lagos, Kano and Bayelsa states.
Out of the 496 bags of rice, and 12,000 facemasks, Lagos will receive 96 bags of rice and 200 masks.
SHIN also stated that Kano State will receive 200 bags of rice and 5,000 masks, while Bayelsa State will get 200 bags and 5,000 masks.
“This is an additional CSR activity from SHI in addition to SHIN’s donation of 5,000 COVID-19 test kits from Korea. The washable masks that the head office has purchased from Korea are certified to retain its effectiveness against COVID-19 transmission for up to 50 washes,” SHIN said in a statement.
Senate Summons NICON, AIICO, Others Over N17.4bn Pension Remittances
The Senate Public Accounts Committee has summoned the management of the NICON Insurance Plc, AIICO Insurance and other insurance companies over their alleged failure to remit N17.4bn pension fund to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate.
The Senate hinged the summon on the 2016 report of the Auditor-General for the Federation which unraveled the alleged non-remittance of N17.4bn pension fund to PTAD.
Appearing before the panel on Monday, the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, informed the lawmakers that PTAD took over the assets and liabilities of the defunct pension offices without a formal handing over.
She said, “On taking over, the directorate wrote all underwriters to make returns and remit whatever amount that was in their custody into a CBN dedicated account.
“Some of the underwriters responded to the request while some did not.
“The bank certificate of balances, accounting statements, three years financial statements and policy files requested by the federal auditor were not handed over to PTAD at the time of consolidation.
“It is worthy to note that we discovered that N17.4bn which comprised of cash, securities and properties from the nine insurance underwriters was unremitted as a result of the letter PTAD sent to them.
“These figures represent the claims by the underwriters with regards to their indebtedness.
“In order to ascertain the true position of legacy funds in custody of underwriters, the directorate appointed a consultant in 2018 who carried out forensic audit of nine out the 12 insurance underwriters and produced a final report on the recovery of the legacy funds and assets for PTAD.”
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