By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc shareholders, on Wednesday, commended the bank for declaring a dividend of N34.19 billion for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2019.
The shareholders gave their commendation at the bank’s 58th and first virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on YouTube in Lagos.
NAN reports that the shareholders, at the meeting, approved the payment of a final dividend of N27.36 billion, which translated to 80k per share.
The bank had earlier paid an interim dividend of 20k on Sept. 18, 2019, bringing the total dividend payable to shareholders to N1 per share against 85k in 2018.
Speaking at the meeting, Dr Farouk Umar, President, Association of the Advancement of the Rights of Shareholders, lauded the bank for increasing dividend payment by 20 per cent.
Umar said that the bank’s N1 dividend payment was highly commendable in spite of difficulties in the operating environment.
He noted that shareholders were also pleased with the contributions of the bank’s other subsidiaries and urged them to keep the good work.
Umar commended the bank for its contributions of $14 million to fight COVID-19 pandemic across Africa.
He said that the donation would go a long way to alleviate the sufferings of people.
Mr Sunny Nwosu, Founder, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), appreciated the board and management for making the virtual AGM possible.
Nwosu, who described the dividend payment as impressive, said it was paramount to shareholders at these challenging times.
On COVID-19, Nwosu urged the bank to strengthen all its electronic channels for efficient service delivery as nobody knows when the virus would end.
Responding to the shareholders, Mr Tony Elumelu, UBA Chairman, assured the shareholders of impressive results and dividend in the years ahead.
Elumelu said the bank would continue to work harder to ensure enhanced earnings and dividend payment.
On recapitalisation plan, he said that the bank remained very strong to continue on its own with Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) in excess of 20 per cent.
Elumelu, however, said the bank would not hesitate to embrace any opportunity that would aid its expansion.
“UBA is very strong and will always expand the business when opportunities present itself,’’ he stated.
The chairman said the bank was very conservative on credit risk appetite and acceptance to avoid a spike in the non-performing loan.
Also, Mr Kennedy Uzoka, the bank’s Group Managing Director, said the company had activated its business community plan in line with present realities.
Uzoka added that the bank had invested heavily in technology to ensure seamless service delivery of its electronic channels.
He stated that the bank had ensured uptime of all its ATMs across the country during the lockdown order.
NAN reports that the bank’s gross earnings grew by 13.3 per cent to N559.8 billion in 2019 compared with N494.0 billion recorded in 2018.