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Coronavirus can’t stop Zenith, FBNH, Access bank directors from pocketing N14.89bn dividends

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Despite some postponement of Annual General Meeting (AGMs) by
corporates due to uncertainties created by the coronavirus, the
directors of Nigeria’s largest banks will still take home a combined
N17.64 billion in final dividends.  

The pandemic will not last forever and most firms have decided not
to cut back on already declared dividends. The bank directors are investors and they will not want to short change themselves, analysts told MoneyCentral.

A breakdown of the payment shows president and founder of Zenith
Bank, Jim Ovia, is set to receive dividends of N12.64 billion as
gleaned from the lender’s 2019 audited financial statement
The billionaire is the single major shareholder of Zenith Bank,
Nigeria’s largest bank by Asset Base, owning directly and indirectly
(Institutional investors Ltd, Lurot Burca Ltd, Jovis Nigeria Ltd, Veritas
Registrars Ltd, Zenith General Insurance Ltd, Zenith Securities Ltd)
about 5,059,336,405 shares out of the 31,396,493,787 ordinary
shares available. This gives him a 16 percent stake in the bank.
Zenith Bank Plc had declared a final dividend of ₦2.50 per share for
2019.

Urum Kalu Eke Group MD of FBN Holdings with direct holdings of 65.
1 million shares will receive a dividend of N24.77 million. This comes
after the bank declared final dividends of N0.38 share for 2019.
Segun Agbaje, the Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc
will get N104 million in dividends.

The captain of the largest lender by market value in Africa’s largest
economy has direct holding of 32,146,651 shares and indirect
holdings of 9,481,350 shares for a total of 41.6 million shares. GTB
announced a final dividend of N2.5 per share.

Hebert Wigwe, CEO Access Bank had direct holdings of 201.2 million
shares and 1.24 billion indirect shares through (United Alliance
Company of Nig., Ltd, Trust and Capital Limited) for a total of 1.441
billion shares.

Wigwe will receive N576 million after Access Bank declared final
dividend of N0.40 per share.

Ifeoma Esiri, a director in Stanbic IBTC Holdings; and Ramesh
Rajapur, director in Sterling, and Ladi Balogun, Group CEO of First
City Monument Bank, will pocket a combined N1.55 billion in
dividends.

For regular investors there were proxies who represented them
during Annual General Meetings (AGM), amid the coronavirus
Pandemic according to Boniface Okezie, Chairman-Progressive
Shareholders Association of Nigeria-PSAN.

“What Federal Government should be doing is to give companies
more tax incentives,” said Okezie.

Some of the Banks have announced donations for the coronavirus
crises in the range of N1 billion, including Access, GTB and Zenith
Bank, much less than some directors received in dividend payments.

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