Shareholders of Wema Bank Plc on Thursday told the board and

management of the bank to ensure that it pay dividend in the current

financial year by doing away with some of its old habits.

Specifically, the National Coordinator of Standard Shareholders

Association, Godwin Anono, who flayed the bank’s non-payment of

dividend in the previous financial year, urged the bank to do

everything within its powers to increase shareholders’ value in the

current year through dividend payout.

Another shareholder activist and Chairman, Ibadan Zone Shareholders

Association of Nigeria, Shola Aboderin commended the bank for

achieving a profit of N2.2 billion and four per cent rise in its

assets but he, however, advised the bank to reduce its expenses,

especially in administration and advertisement.

 

Other shareholders commended the bank for converting its banking license

from a regional bank to a national one, urging the bank to work out

modalities that would enable it to boost its profitability in the current financial year.

They also stressed the need for the bank to work more on its deposit, profit and non-performing loans in order to improve in its performance.

 

However, the bank assured that it is currently working out modalities

that would facilitate payment of dividend to shareholders in the

current financial year and increase profitability.

The Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Tunde Mabawonku, while

fielding questions from journalists during the bank’s yearly general

meeting, held in Lagos on Thursday explained that the process of

dividend payout to shareholders of the bank is on-going, adding that

the bank’s financials would be in a position to pay dividend  by the

end of 2016 financial year.

“The process of paying dividend is on-going, if you look at the

balance sheet of the bank, there are some elements called negative

retained earning that we have on the books, very soon we will be

coming back again to seek shareholders consent to do some scheme of

rearrangement to move some balance of the negative retained earnings

to the share premium.

“Until we do that, the bank will be on the position to pay dividend

and I think we would do that this year, hopefully once we get the

clearance from the regulators, we will come back again before the end

of the year to get the shareholders consent and by the end of 2016 the

financial will be in a position to pay dividend”.

On the steps, taken so far to enhance profit and grow the bank’s

deposit, he said; “We are doing a lot in terms of cost efficiency and

in the areas we can minimize cost, we would do so, but most

importantly for us is to grow the retail business, so we are doing a

lot in campuses and schools and we have seen improvement in the number

of accounts and with this, performance will increase in 2016.”

Reviewing its performance, the Chief Executive Officer of the bank,

Segun Oloketuyi explained that the bank was able to sustain its

transformation drive with total deposits for the period growing about

10 per cent over the prior year to N284.9 billion.

Gross earnings, according to him rose to N46.0 billion from N42.19

billion recorded in 2014, and closed the year with profit before tax

remaining stable at N3.05 billion compared to N3.09bn in 2014.

“Given the challenging outlook for 2016, the Bank has started the year

with a renewed focus on its strategic aspiration of becoming a leading

retail bank in Nigeria.

“The continued implementation of Project L.E.A.P- (the Bank’s Growth

Strategy), narrowed our focus and channeled our efforts towards

specific opportunities with great potential and symbiotic

relationships. This strategy, in its final phase, will continue to

guide the Bank’s allocation of resources in 2016,” he added.