•Puts N22bn Oando loan on watch list
By Omodele Adigun
FIDELITY Bank Plc, one of the country’s most capitalised financial institutions, on Thursday said its gross earnings for the period ended December 31, 2015 grew to N146.9 billion from N136.1 billion recorded in 2014 Financial Year (FY). In the same vein, it promised shareholders N4.6 billion as dividend payout, thus maintaining a tradition of consistent dividend pay-out for the past six years.
According to the lender’s audited financial statements for the period under review, Fidelity Bank posted a rise of 7.9 percent and 0.8 percent in its gross earnings and profit respectively, despite the nation’s harsh operating environment characterised by regulatory and economic headwinds. Profit after Tax (PAT) for the period ended December 31, 2015 rose marginally to N13.9 billion as against N13.8 billion made in the comparable period last year. Whereas total equity increased by 6.0 percent to N183.5 billion from N173.1 billion in 2014 FY, net operating income stood at N83.9 billion, a moderate 12.5 percent rise from N74.6 billion in 2014 FY.
Commenting on the result, Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo said that the bank’s 2015 FY performance reflects the disciplined execution of the management’s medium term strategy and the resilience of evolving business models despite the extremely challenging business environment in 2015. He explained that the bank improved the earning capacity of its balance sheet even in the face of decline in fee income precipitated by a N10.0 billion reduction in its foreign exchange income.
“We continued to increase yields on earning assets faster than the growth in funding costs which improved our Net Interest Margin (NIM) to 6.9 percent in 2015.” This development, the Fidelity helmsman added, is indeed indicative of the bank’s continual focus on balance sheet optimisation, rebalancing of its loan portfolio in consonance with its medium term strategy and increased growth in retail deposit base.”
Meanwhile, Fidelity Bank said on Monday it had put a N22.4 billion ($113 million) loan to listed energy firm Oando Plc on a watch list and taken a special provision of 5 per cent.
The mid-tier commercial lender said on an analysts’ call that the Oando loan accounted for 3.7 per cent of its total loan book and 15.2 per cent of its energy loan book.
The CEO of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, said the bank missed its loan growth target for 2015, which it had originally put at 10 per cent as its loans grew 6.7 per cent last year
Govts yet to comply with 18% pension contributions
By Maduka Nweke
BARELY 20 months after the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014 was signed into law, the federal and state governments are yet to embrace the 18 per cent pension contributions for their workers.
Daily Sun learnt that the Federal Government and few states that have embraced the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) are still remitting 15 per cent as against the 18 per cent stipulated in the new law.
It was also gathered that the Federal Government was yet to pay N20 billion pension accrued rights for workers who retired recently.
The President, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), Eguarekhide Longe, who made the revelation recently, said pension operators are still awaiting the government to fulfil its pledge to pay the backlog of the three per cent, which has not been remitted since the new law became effective.
He noted that about 60 per cent compliance has so far been achieved as regards the PRA 2014. “I will put the level of compliance at 60 per cent from the private sector side. On the government side, the former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said the Federal Government could not comply with the new 18 per cent minimum but when compliance starts, it will offset the entire backlog. I think that situation still remains