Abuja – Mr Felix Achibiri, Chairman, Fortis Micro Finance Bank Plc, said the bank had declared one-for-one bonus share to its existing shareholders in 2015.
Achibiri stated this at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank on Thursday in Abuja.
He sai the Board of Directors had approved and recommended approval of a bonus share of one share for each ordinary share held by members of the company.
“ This resolution was ratified by shareholders at the AGM for the year 2015.
The chairman said 2015 was a turning point in the history of the bank as it was able to secure the Central Bank of Nigeria’s licence to become a National Microfinance Bank.
“We became the first microfinance bank in Nigeria, second in Africa and 16th in the world to secure the SMART Campaign revered Client Protection Principle (CPP) Certification.
“This, we achieved through a rigorous rating exercise by MicroRate, USA.
According to Achibiri, the bank’s gross earnings increased by nine per cent from N3.36billion in 2014 to N3.l65billion in 2015 in spite of the chaotic operating environment experienced.
“Total deposit also increased by five per cent, crossing from N9.59 billion in 2014 to N10.03billion in 2015.
“Total Assets recorded an increase of 20 per cent to N19.94billion in 2015 against N16.59billion the previous year and Total Loans and Advances increased by 19 per cent to N13.92billion from N11.73billion in 2014,’’ he said.
The chairman said Profit before Tax for the period under review, however, decreased from 1.07 billion to 883 million, representing an 18 per cent drop in performance.
This, he attributed to increase in operating cost, particularly interest expense which experienced a spike in consonance with the hash economic environment and tight monetary policy.
He explained that the bank ventured into new collaborations with African Development Bank, Equator Capital- USA and Frankfurt School of Finance and Management to enable it to achieve dominance in the sector.
He said the bank also deepened relationships with FMO of Netherlands, Symbiotics of South Africa, Bank of Industry, Triados Bank – Netherlands, USAID, TOTAL E&P, Shelter Afrique, among others to achieve this goal.
Achibiri said that within the year, the bank delved more into economic empowerment of women through its partnership with Support Multipurpose Cooperative.
He explained that Fortis provided soft loans and social empowerment through group lending to over 300,000 women across 19 states in the federation.
He added that “with the leverage on our Mobile Money Licence through Fortis Mobile Money Limited, we deepened financial inclusion through increased focus on empowering women.
“We believe that when a woman is empowered, the family is empowered; where a family is empowered, the nation is empowered and when a nation is empowered, the world is empowered.
“ This is because the world is a global village and a connection of nations and we are empowering the world starting with one Nigerian woman at a time” the chairman stated.
At the course of the AGM, the new Managing Director, Mr Tiko Okoye, was introduced alongside other Executive Directors of the bank.
The meeting was attended by stakeholders in the sector and shareholders. (NAN)