By Chinwendu Obienyi
Access Bank Plc at the weekend assured its shareholders of its commitment to increase their return on investment at the end of the current financial year, by sustaining a healthy dividend payout to them. This promise comes as, the bank said it is well positioned to achieve significant growth in profitability with the various measures it had put in place to drive profitability.
The Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, stated this while addressing shareholders during the bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held virtually in Lagos at the weekend. Wigwe maintained that Access Bank has a healthy capital adequacy ratio, a robust balance sheet and a strong brand that would lead to a better performance in the years ahead. Access Bank had recorded a profit after tax of N106 billion in 2020, up by 13 per cent from N94 billion in 2019 and recommended a final dividend of 55 kobo per share for the year ended December 31, 2020 to bring its total dividend to 80 kobo, having earlier paid an interim dividend of 25 kobo earlier.
According to him, Access Bank is best positioned to maximize the identified opportunities in Africa on the back of a growing customer base and the move to a cashless economy. “We have identified Africa to be a vast pool of opportunities with over 370 million unbanked adults, $9.2 billion in remittances and cross border payments, 89 cities of over 1.3 billion inhabitants by 2025 and the overall African financial ecosystem. We also see opportunities coming from the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as it is expected to expand intra-Africa trade to 53 per cent by 2022, eliminate tariff on qualifying trade and increase financial flows,” he said.