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Zenith Bank will target more retail lending in 2019 – Amangbo

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Zenith Bank Plc MD/CEO, Mr. Peter Amangbo

Zenith Bank Plc is increasing its focus on consumer lending as lower oil prices weigh on the economy, hurting its business customers.

The Lagos-based bank is expecting to expand retail loans as a percentage of total credit to about four per cent this year from less than one per cent in 2018, its Chief Executive Officer, Peter Amangbo said in interview with Bloomberg at the bank’s headquarters. It will achieve this by making a bigger push into personal loans, car financing and mortgages, he said.

“There is a lot we’re doing on revenue,” Amangbo said.

“We expect our retail franchise to grow. Our electronic business, our digital banking is growing.”

Zenith is making the shift as a 30 per cent drop in oil prices since October hinders the nation’s main export and foreign-currency earner, damping demand for funding.

Nigerian banks are increasingly tapping into digital technology to reach the 50 million unbanked people in a nation of 200 million, while protecting their turf from mobile-phone companies -which have three times as many customers and are bidding to offer money transfers.

The company will probably achieve loan growth of two per cent to five per cent in 2019 after missing its target last year, Amangbo said.

Customer loans declined by eight per cent in the nine months through September to N2 trillion.

“We don’t see a very strong growth in the loan book in 2019,” he said. “Demand is still very weak.”

The lender plans to pay off a $500 million Eurobond maturing in April and won’t issue a new one due to the limited scope for dollar lending, Amangbo said.

“If the opportunity comes, we will go to the market, but now we will pay off that.”

Zenith Bank is still trying recover past loans to the oil and gas sector, the CEO said.

The industry accounted for 46 percent of non-performing loans in the third quarter of last year, and nearly a third of its total loan book.

“I don’t think there is so much appetite to lend to the oil and gas space,” he said.

Concerns over a devaluation of the naira are also weighing on lenders’ desire to finance the industry, whose survival is tied to the availability of foreign exchange for raw material imports.

Deposits are also not increasing, making funding for lenders expensive in the face of cash reserve ratios of 22.5 percent.

“It takes some time for the economy to reset,” he said. “As a bank, you’ll want to be cautious.”

-Bloomberg
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Zenith Bank appoints Henry Oroh Executive Director, Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, Non Executive Director

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Henry Oroh, Executive Director, Zenith Bank Plc

Also, the Board has approved the appointment of Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, FCA, as an Independent Non-Executive Director.

Both appointments are effective September 1, 2019, and have been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Henry Oroh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Benin, Edo State and an MBA from the Lagos State University as well as an LLB Degree from the University of Lagos. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and an honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN), Nigeria.

He has over two decades of banking experience. He began his banking career in 1992 at Citibank where he served for seven (7) years in Operations, Treasury and Marketing.

He joined Zenith Bank in February 1999 and has worked in various Groups and Departments within the Zenith Group Office. His expertise spans Operations, Information Technology, Treasury, Marketing, including the Manufacturing, Food and Beverages, Pharmaceuticals, Oil and Gas, Public Sector, Consumer, as well as Corporate Banking and Business Development.

In April 2012, he was seconded to Zenith Bank Ghana Limited as an Executive Director and became the Managing Director/ Chief Executive in February 2016, where he successfully spearheaded the phenomenal growth of the Zenith Brand both within the Ghana market and the West African sub-region.

Henry has attended several Leadership Programmes and Executive Management Courses at the Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, New York, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, HEC Paris, JP Morgan Chase, UK and the Lagos Business School.

He comes to the Board of Zenith Bank Plc with strong competencies in Credit & Marketing, Operations, Information Technology, Treasury and impressive Leadership skills.

Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar is currently the Managing Director of Apt Pensions Funds Managers Limited.

He is a graduate of the Leeds Polytechnic, UK. He is a renowned Chartered Accountant and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.

Dr. Abubakar has extensive and tremendous experience in the financial services industry, audit and consulting. He worked with the firm of Akintola Williams Deloitte between January 2000 and November 2008, and rose to become the Partner and Board Member of West Africa sub-region. Prior to this, he had served on the Board of several financial institutions in Nigeria.

He has attended several management and leadership training programmes and conferences both within and outside the country.

He brings to the Board of the bank tremendous track record in Risk Management, Credit & Marketing, Auditing and very outstanding leadership skills.

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FirstBank Agric Expo set to promote new Agribusiness opportunities  

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Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced that its 2019 FirstBank Agric Expo would hold on Friday, 30 August 2019 at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos. The 2019 edition – the third in the series –  is themed “Agricultural Value Chain – Spotlighting Opportunities and Managing Risks” would have Professor Benedict Oramah, President of AFREXIM Bank as the Keynote Speaker.

The annual FirstBank Agric Expo, launched in 2017 provides the lead in national discourse on sustainable agriculture value-chain as a substantial source of Nigeria’s economic development, improved contribution to her balance of trade as well as foreign exchange.The 2019 edition would host over 600 delegates and over 60 exhibitors to display the latest technology in farm equipment, tools and machineries as well as packaged finished agricultural produce, logistics and supply, thereby keeping the participants and sundry agribusiness practitioners abreast with new opportunities in the Agricultural industry.

Besides the plenary session, the expo will feature three (3) Masterclasses with in-depth analysis on specific areas of Agribusiness, facilitated by enterprising Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). The Masterclass facilitators include Mr. Leonard Anyanwu, Group Executive Director, Saro International Limited; Mr Segun Ogunwale, Team Lead, Kominity Digital and Mr Bamidele Ayemibo Managing Director, 3T Impex Trade Centrewho will provide insight as well as share success stories and experiences.

Expressing his delight on FirstBank’s leading role at not just promoting Agriculture but diversifying the Nigerian economy, the CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan said ”in the last 125 years, more than any other financial institution, we have played a key role in financing different sectors of not just the Nigerian economy but other economies in sub-Saharan Africa. As Nigeria expands opportunities in its non-oil sector – especially Agriculture – we remain committed to the growth of the agricultural sector and its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.”

“Our consistency in convening the FirstBank Agric Expo, which is in its third consecutive edition, is a demonstration of our commitment to building the agribusiness economy which is capable of delivering sustained prosperity by meeting domestic food security goals, generating exports, supporting sustainable income and creating employment opportunities”, he concluded

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Unity Bank partners Signal Alliance and Businessday to host SME Clinic

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As part of collaborative initiative to consistently promote Small & Medium scale enterprises (SMEs), Unity Bank recently held its maiden edition of SME clinic in conjunction with Signal Alliance and Businessday Newspaper as a capacity building workshop to bridge knowledge gap.

The SME clinic was designed to boost SMEs operators by leveraging effective branding and marketing strategy expected to play key role in creating added value for products and making start up become a big brand enterprise.

Coming on the verge of the 5th industrial revolution and the need to put SMEs ahead of the fast paced developments, the clinic provided platform to expose participants drawn amongst Fintech operators, Retailers, Social services, Schools, Contractors, Professional service firms, Wholesalers, Manufacturers, Hospitality, NGOs, Clubs and Associations, Supplies and Agric value chain to the opportunities available as convergence of technology and human begin to take center stage.

Commenting on the Clinic, the Head of SME, Unity Bank Plc, Opeyemi Ojesina said that as a key market focus contributing about 48% of the national GDP in the last five year, 50% of industrial jobs and nearly 90% of the manufacturing sector in terms of number of enterprises, hosting a capacity building initiative of this nature enables the Bank to have more insight for enhancing financial inclusion plan for SMEs.

He further stated that as a leading Bank in the advocacy for SME, Unity Bank has developed innovative products for SMEs aimed at enhancing greater access to financial services, financial advisory and cluster marketing initiatives.

Participants were of the view that the SME clinic gave practical insights into techniques for creating distinctive brand concept centered on consumers and appreciated the three entities that organized the workshop.

The Chief Technology Officer, Signal Alliance, Mr Uchechi Nwaukwa used the platform to launch CloudGo, an IT product built on Microsoft cloud platform.

As a “solution that enhances communication, collaboration and scales innovation for business becomes a necessity” he further stated that “the product is a results of huge investment in IT infrastructure which helps to overcome upgrade challenges, enhance data protection and disaster recovery challenges faced by small businesses.

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