By Providence Emmanuel

NPF Microfinance Bank (MfB) Plc has declared N342.9million dividend for the financial year ended December 2016, with each shareholder receiving15 kobo per share.

Meanwhile, shareholders commended the management of the bank for excellent performance over the years. They said the performance of the bank has shown that people should not look down on microfinance banks (MfBs), because most commercial banks cannot pay their shareholders as much as some MfBs are paying.

The shareholders at their 23rd Annual General Meeting held in Enugu, however, called on the management to expand the scope of the bank’s operations to ensure that it covers all the 36 Police commands in the country, since Police is the first beneficiary – both serving and retired officers. They also suggested that the bank should introduce a police insurance scheme where every police officer that opens account with the bank is given an insurance policy of N10 million as an incentive to officers and men of the force.

In his address, Chairman of NPF MfB, Azubuike Udah, said that domestic macroeconomic environment in the year 2016 was marked by several unexpected developments, thus making it most challenging, with crude oil price falling below $30 per a barrel.

He stated: “Our bank recorded marginal growth during the 2016 financial year. Gross earnings grew by 13.86 percent from N2.5 billion in 2015 to N2.9 billion in 2016 and profit before tax increased by 16. 63 percent to N803 million in 2016 from N688.8 million in 2015. Total Assets as at December 2016 stood at N2.9 billion which represents a 0.23 percent increase over the 2015 figure. Loans and advances grew by 15.41 percent to close at N9.1 billion from N7.9 billion in 2015.”

One of the shareholders and former Inspector General of Police, Ogbonnaya Onovo, called on Police officers to patronize the bank, saying that the bank operates better than commercial banks in terms of loan. He added that most of them who retired from the Police Force benefitted from the bank.

He noted that the bank personally helped him acquire some properties which he later resold to make profit and urged his serving colleagues to avail themselves the opportunities the bank offers.

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