By Peter Egwuatu
The shareholders of Access Bank Plc have unanimously endorsed the N19.55 billion, representing 80 kobo per share final dividend proposed by its board of directors for the financial year ended December 31, 2020.
The shareholders at the Annual General Meeting, AGM, held last weekend in Lagos, streamed live, commended the bank for its performance despite the impact of coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic.
Reflecting on the bank’s performance, Sir Sunny Nwosu, leader of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, who represented the shareholders’ group said: “Given the expansion drive, the bank is really aiming to play a leading role on the African continent. That is a good development that leads to better returns to shareholders and other stakeholders going forward.’’
The Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Mr Albert Wigwe, assured shareholders of sustained healthy dividend payout, saying that the bank today is well positioned to achieve significant growth in profitability and pay higher dividend.
He stated: “Access Bank has healthy capital adequacy ratio, a robust balance sheet and strong brand that would lead to a better performance in the years ahead.”
Access Bank 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 the total dividend to 80 kobo having paid an interim dividend of 25 kobo earlier.
Wigwe said, “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, US$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.”
In her address, Chairman of the bank, Dr. Ajoritsedere Awosika, said in 2020, the bank made several investments to strengthen relationships with its customers in the year.