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Access Holdings pays N46.21bn to shareholders

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COMFORT EKELEME, Business Editor


Shareholders of Access Holdings Plc have approved a final dividend of N46.21 billion which translates to N1.30 per share.
This is in addition to the interim dividend of 20 kobo per ordinary share paid at mid- year.
They gave the approval Wednesday in Lagos at the 1st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Access Holdings.
The shareholders commended the entire board, management and staff for the outstanding performances in the 2022 financial year.
National Coordinator, Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Bisi Bakare said that the Access Holdings Plc 2022 results show growth in gross earnings by 43 percent despite the difficult micro economic environment and global downturn, with inflation above 20 percent, stressing that the bank was able to bring down cost to income ratio.
She, however, commended the various innovations introduced by the present leadership of the bank in the year under review.
According to her, the several awards won by the bank in the last one year is a commendation of its efforts, adding that the dividend payout is very commendable.
She said, “I will like to commend the board’s commitment to environmental sustainability through the use of the diligent hub group. This is very commendable. I am particularly impressed by the approval of the 2023-2027 strategy, and the approval of the company’s budget.
To her, the establishment of six standing committees is highly commendable. “This is the first time I am seeing this kind of demonstration in any annual report.
Another Shareholder, Mr. Nonah Awoh affirmed that the N1.50 dividend payout is the highest in the history of the bank in the last 20 years.
He, however, drew the attention of the bank on the need to have a foundation, looking at the size of donations made by the bank in the year under review.
On the N640 million contravention paid by the bank, Mr. Awoh noted that it is an indication that there is a need for more work.
He, however, stressed the need for the minority shareholders to have representatives at the board.
The Group’s Chairman, Bababode Osunkoya stated that the Group recorded a Profit Before Tax of N167.7 billion for the year.
He said the total assets grew by 28.2 percent from N11.7 trillion in December 2021 to N15.0 trillion in December 2022.
Deposits from customers grew by 33 percent from N6.9 trillion in 2021 to N9.3 trillion in 2022.
“Our shareholders’ equity also grew by N17 percent from N1.05 trillion in 2021 to N1.23 trillion in 2022. Despite the tough macroeconomic conditions, with inflation over 20 percent, we aggressively drove down our cost-to-income ratio despite the ongoing business expansion.
“There is a purpose, energy and creativity in the Access family which will continue to be deployed for the benefit of the communities we serve.
“A key aspect of our intent over the next five years is to become a top five financial services provider in Africa by 2027. We will build a large, diversified company by consolidating our wholesale franchise and embedding ourselves firmly in the retail market. This strategy will be digitally-led, customer-focused, and supported by various collaborations with reputable fintech companies, to deliver a deeply entrenched retail footprint and payment business.
“The focal point of our 2023-2027 strategy is creating a globally connected community and ecosystem, inspired by Africa for the world. This will be the propelling driver as we aim to become one of the top five financial services providers by 2027,” he said.
Speaking further, Osunkoya maintained that Access Holdings Plc will play a pivotal role in optimizing and orchestrating all the activities of the ecosystem as well as mitigating the risks coming from all business activities.
Looking into the future, Group Chief Executive, Access Holdings Plc, Herbert Wigwe, maintained that as the institution has transitioned to a Holdings Company to capture the opportunities the African market provides, the company’s ambitions will be supported by seven key enablers.
According to him, the seven are customer experience, digital and technology, data and analytics, risk, ESG, people and culture, and brand and communication.
He said these enablers will ensure Access executes seamlessly, to become one of the top five financial services institutions in the African continent by the end of the strategic cycle in terms of revenues, asset base, and on a balanced scorecard basis.
“This proven success of our business model gives us a strong foundation upon which we can build the best open financial services platform and set new ambitions, which we unveiled at our investor day in January 2023,” Wigwe said.
He said the Group will continue to build strong relationships with all shareholders, to deliver on its strategy in line with the long-term values.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Roosevelt Ogbonna said looking into the future, the bank will continue to pursue its retail expansion strategy by growing the customer base to over 125 million as well as driving financial inclusion.
He said, “In addition, we will consolidate our wholesale business, supporting intra-African trade across the continent. We will also transform and change our operating model to deepen digital penetration as well as support our wholesale business.


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