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Fidelity Bank CEO assures investors on better returns in 2018



Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo has assured the investors and analysts community that the top Nigerian lender will deliver better returns in the 2018 financial year.

Speaking in Lagos, Friday during the Half Year Investors and Analyst Conference Call, Okonkwo said the bank will maintain the disciplined approach to the execution of the medium term strategic initiatives, that have sustained the bank’s strong performance in recent years. “From what we have seen so far and going by our half year results, we are staying with our guidance for the full year” said Okonkwo.

The engagement with investors and analysts, came on the heels of the recently released H1 2018 results which saw the Bank record double-digit growth in key revenue lines and achieving significant traction in its chosen business segments.

Gross profits rose by 27.3 to close at N13bn whilst Profit After Tax (PAT) grew by 31 percent to close at N11.8 billion from N9.03 billion recorded in 2017, a performance that Okonkwo attributed to the “disciplined approach in managing the balance sheet growth of the bank, it’s strategic cost containment initiatives; focused attention to chosen business segments and determined execution of its retail and digital banking strategy”

The bank’s much awaited HI 2018 results have been positively received by the market. Renaissance Capital said “on a sequential basis, PBT was up an impressive 61 percent QoQ, largely driven by much stronger income during the quarter. We like the decent 8 percent QoQ (+3 percent YtD) growth in the bank’s loan book, which was largely driven by the manufacturing, general commerce and transport segments. We find this performance impressive in light of the tepid growth in the sector.”

“The bank’s Return On Equity (RoE) of 12.2 percent is the highest it has been since 2008, driven by a combination of higher Return On Asset (RoA) and leverage – leverage of 7.6x in 1H18 compares with 6.9x in FY17, while RoA of 1.6 percent, compares with 1.4 percent, within the same periods. Contributing to this RoE uplift, is of course the IFRS 9 impact of a lower equity base” Rencap further stated.

Also, analysts at InvestmentOne pointed out that “the Bank’s efforts at driving its digital banking strategy is paying off, having posted a 30.1 percent year-on-year boost in non-interest income to N14.3 billion in H1 2018” According to them, the growth was driven mainly by a 60.9 percent year-on-year increase in net fees and commission.

“The Bank’s digital banking strategy has shown that about 40 percent of its customers have now enrolled on its digital platforms in H1 2018, up 10 percent year-on-year, 80 percent of its total transactions are now done on these platforms. On operations and contact channels, the Bank at the end of Q2 2018 has 4,513 Point of Sale (PoS) terminals, 2 million ATM Cards and 778 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and 1.6 million mobile customers” noted the analyst report.

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Contempt: Wema Bank’s MD, 6 other official must appear Tuesday – Court



Contempt: Wema Bank’s MD, 6 other official must appear Tuesday – Court


There is no reprieve yet for the Wema Bank Plc and its seven officials cited for contempt, as a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria reinforced its order compelling the said official to appear before the court on Tuesday to explain why committal to prison order should not be made against them.

When the matter was mentioned on Monday, only the Secretary of the bank, Johnson Lebile was present.

Other officials of the bank charged for contempt are Ademola Adebise, managing director; Moruf Oseni, deputy managing director; Wole Akinleye, executive director and Folake Sanu, executive director.

Lebile told the court that the chairman of the bank, Babatunde Kasali travelled abroad, why other Directors ordered to appear before the court today are not available.

He explained to the court that the bank refused to obey the order of the court to pay the judgement sum because the bank had filed an appeal against the ruling of the court and also filed stay of execution of the judgement of the court.

However, the lawyer to the bank officials cited for contempt, Mr. Wemimo Ogunde, suggested to the court that he could advise Wema Bank to pay the judgement sum into the account of the Chief Registrar of the court, since there was appeal against the judgement of the court and application for stay of execution of the said judgement and other pending application so that the outcome of the appeal would not be made nugatory.

However, the counsel to Heritage Bank, Chief Ajibola Aribisala SAN, in a counter argument told the court that the business of the day was for the parties cited for contempt to appear before the court to explain why they should not be sent to prison for flagrant disobedience of order of the court.

He urged the court to issue bench warrant against those officials that were not in court, while the Company’s Secretary present in court should be sent to prison to show that the court was not a toothless bulldog.

In his reaction, Ogunde, while citing certain rules of the court said last Friday, the court issued order compelling the officers of Wema Bank cited for contempt to appear before the court and that by virtue of the rule of the court Sundays and public holidays were not to be counted, saying that in view of this provision, the time for them to appear would expire tomorrow.

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Wema Bank CEO, chairman, other executives risk jail over contempt



Wema Bank CEO, Chairman, other executives risk jail over contempt


Chukwujekwu Aneke, presiding Judge of a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos south west Nigeria has ordered that Wema Bank Plc and its six officials cited for contempt or disobeying the order of the court should appear before it on Monday, February 17, 2020.

They are to explain why they should not be sent to prison for flagrant disobedience of the extant positive orders of the court.

The affected officials of the bank are: Ademola Adebise, managing director; and Babatunde Kasali, chairman.

Other are Moruf Oseni, deputy managing director; Wole Akinleye, executive director; Folake Sanu, executive director; and Johnson Lebile, company secretary.

The order of the court was sequel to two different similar garnishee suits filed before the court by Chief Ajibola Aribisala, SAN Lagos lawyer, on behalf of Heritage Bank.

The first one against Ondo State Government and the Attorney General of the state, and the second one against Idanre Local Government Universal Basic Education Authority, Ondo State Government and Attorney General of Ondo State.

Heritage Bank having obtained judgement against the two parties at an Ondo state high court in the sum of N1billion out of which N600million has been paid, leaving a balance of about N400million, while the judgement against Idanre Local Government Universal Basic Education Authority is in the sum of N405.4 million.

Heritage Bank then initiated garnishee proceedings against the parties in the two suits.

On 6th of December 2019, the court made the order nisi against Wema bank Plc absolute, attaching the principal judgement sum of N134 million.

Wema Bank Plc, thereafter, deposed to an affidavit that Ondo State Government has N745 million standing to its credit and same has been attached in compliance with the order of the court.

However, the bank refused to comply with the order of the court to pay the money despite the demand made by Chief Aribisala on behalf of Heritage Bank.

However, Wema Bank, in its response letter claimed not to comply with the order of the court based on the Noticed of Appeal and Motion for Stay of Execution filed by the Ondo state Government at the Court of Appeal.

Thereafter, Heritage Bank caused the Registrar to issue form 48, notice of consequence of disobedience of order of the court against the officers of the bank. Still, the order of the court was not obeyed,hence the need for the issuance of form 49 asking the parties cited for contempt to show cause why order of committal should not be made against them.

On the 5th day of February, 2020 when the matter came up for hearing, Chief Ajibola Aribisala, SAN, in his argument and submission before the court contended that it is obvious that parties cited for contempt are not in court and that the court must compel their presence. He then urged the court to issue bench warrant against officials of Wema Bank Plc, cited for contempt to compel them to appear.

However, the counsel for the officials of Wema Bank cited for contempt, Mr Wemimo Ogunde, SAN, contended that the form 49 was filed and served on the parties and before then Wema Bank had already filed an application for stay of execution pending appeal and that the record of appeal had already been entered at the Court of Appeal.
Consequently, after listening to the two parties the court adjourned till 14th February 2020, for ruling.
Justice Aneke in his ruling relating to the two suits said: “The said appeal lodge by the parties cited for contempt has nothing to do with the form 49 served on them for their failure to comply with the order of the court in respect to the order made absolute against Wema Bank Plc .

Accordingly, the parties cited for contempt are hereby given 72hours from today till Monday 17th of February, 2020 to appear before the court to explain why committal order would not be made against them for flagrant disobedience of the extant positive orders of the court.”

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Fidelity Bank, Gazelle Academy train 200 undergraduates in Sokoto



Fidelity Bank, Gazelle Academy Train 200 Undergraduates In Sokoto
L-R: The Head Recruitment, CSR & Sustainability, Fidelity Bank Plc, Chris Nnakwe exchanges pleasantries with the Commissioner of Youth & Sport Development, Aminu Bala Bodinga at the opening ceremony of the Fidelity Youth Empowerment Programme (YEA 7) held in Sokoto State for undergraduates and other selected participants Sokoto State University… Monday while the Regional Bank Head (RBH), North west 2, Salihu Jibrin, and the Founder/CEO, Gazelle Academy, Muna Onuzo look on.

Fidelity Bank, Gazelle Academy have partnered to train over 200 undergraduates in Sokoto State. 

According to the lender, this is in line with its quest to create a veritable platform for building an entrepreneurial spirit in the country’s teeming youths. The bank said it has expanded the scope of the Fidelity Youth Empowerment Academy (YEA) in a bid to accommodate new areas of vocational training.

On February 10, 2020, the bank in strategic partnership with Gazelle Academy commenced the seventh edition of the highly successful YEA at the Sokoto State University (SSU), Sokoto. Apart from the typical training on tailoring and make-up, participants will also be provided with requisite skills and first-hand knowledge in Fashion Designing, Cloth Embellishment, Cocktail and Phone Engineering among others.

Over 200 undergraduates of Sokoto State University (SSU) will benefit from this programme. So, why does the bank invest in young people? When the Fidelity Bank says, “turn your passion into a pay cheque”, that’s a message of empowerment. As a bank, it recognises that the youth look at the world with fresh eyes and such lively determination, and create much-needed change by throwing convention out the window. That’s why the bank, through its laudable interventions, continues to develop innovative programmes that unleash the creative energies of Nigerian youths which in turn represents formidable new frontiers for sustainable national development, says Fidelity Bank MD, Nnamdi Okonkwo.

YEA is a skills acquisition, training and productivity improvement scheme targeted at youths, especially undergraduates in Nigeria’s higher institutions. This empowerment programme, which is part of the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, is primarily targeted at creating a new breed of entrepreneurs amongst Nigeria’s boisterous youth population.

Over 3,000 students have benefited from YEA programs at University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Waziri Umar Federal Polytechnic, Birnin-Kebbi; Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra State; Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt; Bayero University, Kano and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Some beneficiaries who have since started their own businesses were recognized at the event. Fidelity Bank has also provided students with high-quality sewing machines, pressing irons and make-up kits to make sure that undergraduates utilise the skills and experiences garnered at the youth empowerment workshop to improve their lives before and after graduation.

In essence, the Bank has succeeded in making entrepreneurs out of students who will be financially responsible and independent. Through this programme, the Bank has earned a significant measure of goodwill with state and local governments that have in some cases translated to a business relationships and have contributed to the Bank’s bottom line.

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