Category Archives: News

ZENITH BANK SUSTAINS MARKET DOMINANCE WITH IMPROVED PROFITABILITY

In the first quarter ended 31 March 2019, Zenith Bank Group recorded improved numbers across key metrics, driven by a solid performance in all business segments an unedited Q1 results released by the bank revealed.

This solid performance resulted in a Profit before Tax (PBT) of ₦57 billion, representing a 6% growth over the ₦54 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2018 according to information available.

The Group’s on-going commitment to cost optimisation on the income statement and statement of financial position ensured earnings per share increased by 7% to ₦1.60 compared to Q1 2018 further details revealed.

The growth in net interest income and operating income by 23% and 1% respectively mitigated the decline in gross earnings. The effective management of cost-to-income ratio, cost of funds and cost of risk offset top-line declines to deliver an enhanced operating income in the period the unaudited results showed.

More information revealed that the risk and asset quality continues to improve as cost of risk dropped significantly by 52% from 0.9% in the prior year to 0.4% for the period. And this was achieved as impairment charges declined by 54%(₦2.5billion year on year reduction).

The figures available further showed that cost of funds also improved, declining by 25% from 4%in Q1 2018 to 3% at quarter-end. This was supported by a 22% decrease in interest expense of ₦10billion over the same period, affirming the Group’s robust treasury and liquidity management.

Added revelation revealed that prudent cost management led to a 5% decline in the cost-to-income ratio by 5% from 53.3% in 2018 to 50.9% in the period with an absolute reduction in operating expenses by ₦2.3 billion year-on-year.

The Bank’s retail franchise continues to increase as retail deposits grew by N80bn between December 2018 and March 2019 representing a 9% growth notwithstanding the fact that total customer deposits dropped marginally by 3%. The drop in customer deposits was as a result of rebalancing of the deposit mix as expensive purchased deposits were forgone in favour of cheaper and stickier retail deposits according to details available.

The volume and value of transactions across electronic and digital platforms continue to grow as new customers are being acquired. And the balance sheet continues to strengthen as liquidity ratio is at 66.7%, loan to deposit ratio closed at 43%, and capital adequacy ratio ended the period at 25% respectively and remain above the relevant regulatory thresholds as at 31 March 2019 the Q1 unaudited report further revealed.

According to a statement from the bank ‘’Going into the rest of the year and with improving economic fundamentals, we are confident of delivering value to all our stakeholders on our commitments even as we create more opportunities for businesses by supporting them through selective risk asset creation. We shall continue our investments in the retail segment of the market as we consolidate our leadership position in the corporate segment while maintaining a strong balance sheet.’’

Again, Seyi Makinde Cautions Ajimobi Against Hasty Contracts Award

The Governor-elect of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde has warned “those who think they can fleece the state government” to have a second thought.

In a statement signed on his behalf by Prince Dotun Oyelade, the Governor-elect said that “the plan of the outgoing administration to concession the Agodi Gardens and some landed property at Trans Amusement Park to a Government insider will not materialise as it does not follow due process”.

Engr Makinde said that he is well aware of the outgoing government’s plan to mismanage the $ 610 million special intervention fund of which Oyo State is a beneficiary.

According to the statement, “the hasty contracts being awarded at SUBEB has also caught the eyes of the public, likewise the many other last-minute hanky panky going on”.
While Engr. Makinde warned contractors not to risk their licenses, he assured members of the pubic that due diligence will be upheld and relevant anti-corruption agencies have been duly informed.

Zenith Bank MD Designate, Ebenezer Onyeagwu Visits Sanwo-olu

Wednesday, April 10, 2019, the Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer designate of Zenith Bank, Ebenezer Onyeagwu paid a courtesy visit.

His host was the Governor-Elect of Lagos state Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The Governor-Elect and CEO designate -who is scheduled to take over the reins at Zenith Bank on June 1 – had a very engaging meeting.

Details As Zenith Bank Appoints Ebenezer Onyeagwu GMD/CEO Effective June 1,2019

Zenith Bank Plc. has announced the appointment of Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu as the Group Managing Director/CEO of the bank effective June 1, 2019, subject to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) approval.

The appointment is consistent with the bank’s tradition and succession strategy of grooming leaders from within.

Onyeagwu replaces Mr. Peter Amangbo, whose tenure expires on May 31, 2019.MrAmangbo leaves the bank at the end of a very successful career spanning over 27 years, with the last five years as GMD/CEO.

Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu is a vastly experienced banker and financial expert, trained in reputable institutions of learning in Nigeria, the United Kingdom and United States of America.

Mr. Onyeagwu is a graduate of Accounting from Auchi Polytechnic where he obtained the Ordinary National diploma in 1984 and Higher National Diploma in 1987. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1989 while he was still undergoing the compulsory National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) post graduation and was named a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA) in 2003.

He is an alumnus of the prestigious University of Oxford, England, from where he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Strategy, and certificate in Macroeconomics. He also undertook extensive executive level business education in Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia Business School of Columbia University, the Harvard Business School of Harvard University (all in the United States) and Lagos Business School of the Pan African University, Nigeria.

He has nearly 30 years’ experience in the banking industry in Nigeria. He joined Zenith Bank Plc in 2002 as a Senior Manager, in the Internal Control and Audit Group of the bank. His professionalism, competence, integrity and commitment to the set objectives of the bank saw him rise swiftly between 2003 and 2005, first, as Assistant General Manager, then Deputy General Manager, and eventually as General Manager of the bank. In these capacities, he handled strategies for new business and branch development, management of risk assets portfolios, treasury functions, strategic top level corporate, multinationals and public institutional relationships, among others.

As Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Onyeagwu has oversight over the bank’s Financial Control and Strategic Planning, Risk Management, Retail Banking, Institutional and Corporate banking business portfolios, IT Group, Credit Administration, Treasury and Foreign Exchange Trading, as well as general administration of the bank, among others.

He was named Executive Director of the bank in 2013, and put in charge of Lagos and South-South Zones as well as strategic groups/business units of the bank including Financial Control & Strategic Planning, Treasury and Correspondent Groups, Human Resources Group, Oil and Gas Group, and Credit Risk Management Group, etc. He was named Deputy Managing Director of the bank in 2016.

Mr. Onyeagwu has been on the board of Zenith Bank Ghana, Zenith Pensions Custodian Limited, Zenith Nominees Limited and African Finance Corporation (AFC) within the last six years. In AFC, he serves on the Board Risk & Investment Committee (BRIC) and Board Audit & Compliance Committee (BAAC). At Zenith Bank Ghana, he chairs the Board Credit and Governance Committees.

He brings to his job strategic thinking, inspirational leadership, energetic and entrepreneurial skills. He is married with children.

Ephebophilia! Senator-elect, Ned Nwoko In Secret Romance With Teen Actress, Regina Daniels

The lid has blown off the secret dalliance between Delta State politician, Ned Nwoko and 18 year old actress, Regina Daniels.

Those in the know revealed the former House of Representatives member, now a Senator-elect is the financial pillar behind the Daniel’s sudden flamboyant lifestyle.

The teen actor all of a sudden became a social media sensation, acquired two expensive cars, bought a rolex watch and exhibited a luxurious living which people traced to the kindness of her 59- year-old lover.

Regina was said to have been introduced to Ned by an older colleague who knows Ned’s preference for teenagers.

The politician was said to have fallen for the actress beauty and smooth skin, kicking off an almost immediate amorous affair.

An unconfirmed report also claimed the politician had visited Regina’s Asaba home to seek her hand in marriage, a plan that would seal the union as the Senator’s 6th marriage.

Regina’s parents were said to have welcomed the idea, as long as the politician is ready to fulfil his obligations and meet their needs.

Ex-AGF, Otunla seriously ill, loses brother (how he was secretly flown abroad)

This is not the best of moment for ex Accountant General of the Federation under President Goodluck Jonathan, Jonah Otunla.

The man who is being investigated for his role in the N2B arms fraud is said to be seriously sick.

An insider within the family hinted that the socialite who owns the Ventura Mall in Ibadan is battling an undisclosed, life threatening ailment.

Not only that, Otunla lost his younger brother, John some days ago.

John was said to have died mysteriously and his death triggered his elder brother’s sickness upon receiving the news.

As we speak, the ex AGF has been secretly flown abroad for proper medical care by family members.

Some days ago when his case was brought up at the Federal High Court, Abuja, the presiding judge, Nnamdi Dimgba has threatened to arrest him for failing to appear in court for trial before his counsel informed the judge of his ailment.

Otunla is said to be allegedly feigning illness to escape the hand of the law, a lead lawyer of the EFCC pointed to the tricks as he informed that Otunla’s accomplice, one Mr Adelakun was said to have suddenly dropped dead, a matter that is now being investigated.

THE LIES AND LIARS OF THE ELECTION -Godswill Akpabio

There are three kinds of people. In the first category you have those who make things happen. In the second category you have those who talk about those who make things happen. And in the third category you have those who do not know what is happening. God has ordained for me to make things happen, and I am grateful to Him. That is my ministry.

Those who talk about the people who make things happen also have this as their ministry. They constitute the Gossip League. If I have been a major gossip commodity in their “enterprise”, I bless the name of the Lord. There is one thing worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about. But when they take their trade (gossip) to embarrassing heights of absurdity, one painfully has to undertake the task of reining them in and ensuring that lies and falsehood do not flourish in our State and invoke God’s wrath. It is not about me, but about the law of sowing and reaping. Rest assured that every idle and malicious talk would be judged by God Almighty.

My movement from the PDP to the APC overshadowed every discussion in Akwa Ibom State and cast a spell of fear over the Peoples Democratic Party. In their desperation, they told many lies against me and I would not bother to talk about all of them. I, however, would want to refer, for now, to four of these false claims and a few others . (1) That I said I was god or carried on like God.( 2) That I said, “Where was God when I made Udom Emmanuel Governor.” (3) That I contrived to sell the state to Moslems for the establishment of cattle colonies. (4) That I left the PDP and joined pigs and now eat in piggery. ( Credited to Prelate Emeritus Sunday Mbang and co)

My story is the story of grace. My father died when I was quite young. But my mother made me to believe that my FATHER left for HEAVEN because he was sure that I am not only strong but have the strength of character and resolve to take care of her and my SIBLINGS as well as generations of our people. I am a working person’s person. I became a Solicitor, Honourable Commissioner for years and the governor of Akwa Ibom State in actualization of God’s benevolence. God made me governor. The forces I faced in that election (2007) were daunting and no pundit gave me a chance. God lifted me from grass to Grace to send the message to all Akwa Ibom people and Nigerians that whether you travel by bus or by bicycle, whether you were born in affliction or in affluence, God’s will shall certainly and without fail be done in your life.

As a Governor I appreciated God at every opportunity and shall continue to do so as long as I live. My love for God and reverence of Him led to my partnership with the Church. On assumption of duty as Governor, my first act in office was the donation of a N100 million (one hundred million Naira) grant to the Church community to use as a revolving loan scheme for the poorest communicants in the church. I also extended a grant of N10 million (Ten million naira) to the Muslim community in Uyo Central Mosque to be utilized as a revolving interest free loan to the poorest Muslims in our State whose businesses confronted financial hindrances. The idea was to lift the enterprising children of God out of poverty and misery. I did this because of my conviction that we all worship the same GOD. This I did, not only because I have always been pro-poor but because of God’s injunction in James 2:15-16. I like it better in the Message Bible: “For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, ‘Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!’ and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you?’

It was because of my fear of God, love of God and gratitude to Him for all He has done for me that I brought down the old chapel and I built the current Chapel in Government House – an architectural masterpiece in honor of God. It was because of my love of God, fear of Him and gratitude to HIM that Government started the compulsory monthly prayer meeting at the said chapel for Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria which held throughout my tenure, and I am happy to note that the tradition is still continued by the present administration. My love for God was also made manifest in my interventions in the renovation/construction/reconstruction of various churches across the State and Nigeria. My heart was so overwhelmed with God that I did not pay him back enough hence my commencement of the award- winning Carol Festivals which were watched live in more than 59 countries across the the World through out my tenure. It is a thing of pride that it is still being continued by the present administration. It is also my reverence to GOD and love for Him that made us to work together as Akwa Ibom people to break the GUINNESS BOOKS OF World RECORD by convoking the largest choir group on planet earth since the world was founded – the Godswill Akpabio Unity Choir (25,272members) to sing to the glory of God. Is it right for a LEADER who did all these to be referred to as anti- Christ by a tiny clique of self acclaimed “fathers of faith” because of mere change of political party ?

In 2016 my wife, was in a coma for months and the best doctors in the world with the help of the best life-support equipment gave her less than five percent chance of making it. Doctors and science gave up on her. The press wrote that she had died. But we held on to God and God brought her back to life. Science could not explain this awesome testimony.
In 2015, I was involved in an accident, which details are still suspect. I survived against all odds, because God showed up for me.
Can a man who has seen so much favour from God, turn around to blaspheme him? Can such a man seek to play God or seek to share His glory with Him? Such a man can never say “where was God when I made Udom Emmanuel governor?”. I neither made such blasphemous statement nor conceived it in my heart. I met Udom Emmanuel in 2012 or thereabout performing the duties of a deacon in Qua Iboe Church, Surulere. I immediately took a liking to him and adjudged that as a deacon, if given the opportunity, he would superintend over the affairs of our people with the FEAR of God. Whether I was right or wrong is for history to judge. Nevertheless I picked him to succeed me and by the grace of God and the votes of Akwa Ibom electorates, he won the election 2015. So God made him governor.
Yes, your guess is right. I met enemies out of 28 other aspirants who desired that same office. That remains my cross.

So for anybody to believe that I would question where God was when we made Udom Emmanuel Governor is the height of mischief. Of course God used me and Akwa Ibom people to make Udom Emmanuel Governor, just as He used Samuel to anoint Saul king of Israel. If King Saul departed from the expectations of God and God sent Samuel to communicate the message to him , no one can accuse Samuel of playing God. For me and my household, we shall forever love God and reverence Him.

I am happy that God is not like some of His pastors. Ever since I moved to APC, they have been preaching falsehood against the party, APC and joined politicians in peddling lies about me and the APC government led by President Muhammadu Buhari. Very well known Church prelates and Bishops that dined with me for 8 years while I was governor, despite my benevolence to them and their families joined the fray calling me killer herdsman for being a part of APC. But some of these “men of God” were in this same Country in 2012 when the farmers/herdsmen clashes claimed the lives of over 1000 people in the Benue/Plateau/Mambilla axis. At that time, a Christian was the President but was not accused of being a killer of Christians. The farmers/herdsmen clashes predate Nigeria’s Independence. The clashes have occurred under various leaderships. Yet the “men of God” have been unconscionable and insensitive in accusing the current President of masterminding genocide against Christians because he is a Muslim. I am happy that God does not condemn a man based on one man’s testimony, but He sees our heart and judges our motives and intentions accordingly. Whether one is a Christian or Muslim, we all worship the same God WHO will at the appointed time judge us from our deeds in words and actions.

But these misguided acts by a section of prejudiced Christian leadership seem to know no bounds. Otherwise, how can Christian leaders led by a former CAN President be sponsored to describe me in a televised press conference as “a foolish prodigal son who went to join pigs in a piggery and eat the food meant for pigs?”. May I ask the sponsored “men of God”, is my party, the APC a piggery? Is the ruling party in your Country made of pigs? Are your sponsors happy with this appellation? Is God happy with your twisted involvement in partisan politics? I would like to advise the “fathers of faith” to stop the hate speeches no matter how profitable and rather speak more to us about SALVATION, LOVE and UNITY.

Some of the lies are unfathomable and ridiculous. That it could be suggested
that I would seek to undo the transformational work I did in Akwa Ibom by mortgaging Akwa Ibom interests or entering into alliances with anyone is another wicked lie from the pit of hell.
In the course of this election, I had been photo-shopped by the same propaganda merchants who told the lies about me. My letterhead and signature had been forged by the same propaganda merchants to write falsehood and circulate same on the internet purporting to be a letter from me to the PRESIDENT through the Chief of Staff to Mr President . During the election they conscripted certain women from South Africa who claimed to be foreign observers and paid them to lie that I detained them using thugs even when such incident never occurred. I am yet to come across any of these phoney female foreign observers who claimed to have been detained by the said Akpabio and his gang of thugs. Such blackmail can not be allowed to peter out without a whimper. I have therefore instructed my solicitors to write to the South African Embassy with the view to bringing the purveyors of those lies to justice.

But in all these, I have often reflected on what happened to our Lord and Savior, JESUS CHRIST when some of the multitude who celebrated Him in the triumphant entry into Jerusalem were fooled by the Pharisees to shout, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” at his trial. Yes they crucified him. But because the Bible says in Job 20:4-7 “Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth, That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?” .

When Matthew Henry was robbed, he said “Let me be thankful because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.” Let me say, I am thankful because it was I who was lied against and maligned, not I who lied and maligned. My dream for Akwa Ibom lives on. My love for Akwa Ibom and Nigeria waxes stronger. I call on those who have been sucked into this axis of evil to stop the lies, the smear campaigns, the propaganda and the deliberate falsehood. I wish to serve notice that I would remain undaunted and focused in serving humanity.

Let me place on record my deep appreciation to hundreds of thousands of Akwa Ibom people who ignored the innuendos, falsehood and campaigns of calumny against me and the APC, trooped out in their numbers to vote Mr President and I on 23rd February and Obong Nsima Ekere on 9th March, 2019 respectively. You voted to join the centre politics of Nigeria. Be assured that no “conspiracy” can deny you the desires of your heart.

For the people of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District, Akwa Ibom State and Nigerians,continue to pray for our best is yet to come.

God bless Akwa Ibom State, God bless our Nation, Nigeria.

His Excellency,Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON.