As part of its commitment to support the growth and sustainability of Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSME) in the continent, Pan African financial Institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, is set to organise the next edition of its UBA Business Series.
The UBA Business Series which is a monthly event, is an MSME Workshop as well as a capacity building initiative of the bank where business leaders and professionals share well-researched insights on best practices for running successful businesses, especially in the face of the difficult operating environment that dominates the African business landscape.
Through this initiative, UBA has been assisting with essential tips to help businesses re-examine their models and strategies and ensure that they stay afloat and remain thriving.
The topic for the next edition of the series is ‘ Managing Performance for Business Growth,’ and it will be held on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 via Microsoft Teams.
At this session, the Managing Director, Secure ID Limited, Mrs Kofo Akinkugbe, will be sharing useful tips and insights on the key strategies of performance management to boost business growth.
Akinkugbe is the founder of SecureID Nigeria, a MasterCard, VISA and Verve certified Smartcard Personalization Bureau and Digital Technology company.
She currently serves as the Managing Director/CEO, Secure Card Manufacturing, – a Smartcard manufacturing plant producing high security identity cards and documents for the Banking, Telecoms and Public sectors across Africa and beyond.
The capacity building event is a virtual session which is open to all – including business owners and leaders – and will be held on Wednesday, April 14 th, 2021, at 2pm WAT. Interested participants can register via http://bit.ly/UBASMEWorkshopMarch2021
UBA’s Head, SME Banking, Sampson Aneke said of Akinkugbe, ‘with her vast experience garnered over the years from various sectors, she will help business owners understand how performance management strategies can be effectively implemented to ensure business growth’.
Union Bank has released its audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020. The bank’s results on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited for the full year period shows sustained growth in key income lines and significantly improved fundamentals notwithstanding a constrained operating environment largely due to the impact of the Covid19 pandemic.
Union Bank’s investments in technology and building a progressive work culture over the past eight years, enabled a swift response to the pandemic that allowed our workforce transition to remote working while maintaining the productivity required to deliver these strong set of results in 2020.
Here are the bank’s financial highlights
Profit before tax: up 2.8percent to N25.4billion (N24.7billion in FY 2019); Gross earnings: down 1.9percent to N156.9billion (N159.9billion in FY 2019); Net operating income after impairments: up 8.3percent to N103.4billion (N95.5billion in FY 2019); and Net interest income before impairment: up 10.1percent to N56.9billion (N51.7billion in FY 2019) due to reduced interest expenses.
Non-interest income: up 1.6percent to N44billion (N43.3billion in 2019) driven by growth in net trading income as well as revaluation gains; Operating expenses: up 10percent to N78billion (N70.8billion in FY 2019) due to an increase in regulatory and technology expenses; andGross loans: up 23.8percent to N736.7billion (N595.3billion in FY 2019) driven by targeted lending to key sectors of the economy.
Also, Customer deposits went up 27.6percent to N1.13trillion (N886.3billion in FY 2019) reflecting the bank’s agility in delivering a compelling range of products to our customers during the pandemic and increased adoption of our digital channels; non-performing loans ratio: down to 4percent from 5.8percent (FY 2019) driven by a disciplined recoveries strategy (N7.2billion in 2020), a more robust loan book and key restructurings to support customers during the pandemic.
Subject to shareholders’ approval, a dividend of 25 kobo per 50 kobo share is being proposed.
In December 2020, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Emeka Emuwa announced his retirement effective March 31, 2021. Following a successful search process, the Board has appointed Emeka Okonkwo, an Executive Director currently leading the Bank’s Corporate Banking business, to succeed him. Emeka Emuwa served as CEO for eight years and led the Bank’s transformation and repositioning as a key player in the Nigerian financial space.
Commenting on the results, Emeka Emuwa, CEO said: “The Bank has delivered a strong set of results notwithstanding the impact of COVID-19 on our operations and the wider economy, enabling the Board of Directors to continue to return value to shareholders with a proposed dividend payment for the second year in a row. This demonstrates the strong foundations we have built, as we continue to deliver against our target of becoming a leading financial institution in Nigeria.
“For the full year, we grew across key income lines. Net income after impairments grew 8.3percent from N95.5billion to N103.4billion and translated into 2.8percent growth in Profit Before Tax to N25.4billion from N24.7billion.
The core of this performance is driven by the growth in our loan book, with 23.8percent increase in gross loans, to N736.7billion from N595.3billion in 2019.”
Speaking on the FY 2020 numbers, Chief Financial Officer, Joe Mbulu said: “We are pleased with both our top and bottom-line performance in 2020, in light of the impact of the pandemic and economic challenges.
Significant inflationary pressures and the translation of currency depreciation drove growth in our cost base, however we maintained strong control, limiting operating expense increase to 10percent (N77.9billion from N70.8billion), well below the rate of inflation. Consequently, we saw marginal increase in our cost to income ratio to 75.4percent from 74.1percent.
Our customer deposits hit a milestone during the year, crossing the N1trillion mark to N1.131trillion from N886.3billion in FY 2019, an increase of 27.1percent.
Low cost deposits were up by 17percent, constituting 68percent of total deposits helping to push cost of funds down by 1.4percent.
NIGERIA – MTN Nigeria has partnered with Ajua, a Kenyan based Africa’s first Integrated Customer Experience Company, to launch EnGauge, a digital eCommerce customer engagement management mobile app to support SMEs.
The mobile app according to the two, is set to transform how SMEs conduct business in Nigeria.
It will also help solve 4 of the UNDPs social development goals for Nigeria while also enabling business owners to oversee the smooth administration of transactions and operations of their companies.
With the SME market in Nigeria currently valued at USD220 billion annually and statistics showing that businesses that adopt Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions see their productivity increased by 40%.
This solution by both Ajua and MTN Nigeria is set to significantly empower SMEs to conduct business more efficiently ultimately increase revenues.
“In addition, SMEs will be able to improve their Customer Experience through the app and build a strong and engaging social media presence allowing them to target and engage new customers.”
Kenfield Griffith – CEO, Ajua
Available for download Google Play store, MTN EnGauge offers innovative customer management solutions including digital payments, CRM tools, customer feedback channels, customer debt management and tracking as well as business and product promotions through mobile and social media channels.
In mid-2020 Ajua launched SME Connect, a similar platform to serve the Kenyan market, businesses across the country are actively using the app for customer retention and as a marketplace for their products.
“MTN EnGauge is the ideal platform for business owners and entrepreneurs to thrive in the new normal,” Lynda Saint-Nwafor, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN Nigeria, said.
“Entrepreneurs can securely receive payment, track transactions with each of their customers and glean valuable insights to serve them better based on their preferences and buying behaviour.”
MTN EnGauge gives business owners a platform to improve their customer experience by managing interactions with their customers.
SMEs can finally get an impression of their customers’ perceptions of their brand and know exactly what their customers are looking for and inform their next steps with customer data. Ultimately increasing their customer retention and profitability.
MTN EnGauge also makes it possible to increase brand exposure through social media. SMEs can take advantage of this connection by promoting their products and services on various social media platforms.
Upon registration to the application, businesses are automatically provided with a unique business code (USSD) which allows their customers to interact, transact and communicate with them in real-time.
“Through this digital ecommerce, MTN EnGauge allows SMEs to increase their sales by automating their business processes, this can save them time and energy ultimately leading to increased productivity,” Ajua CEO, Kenfield Griffith said.
The multi-investor fund has been closed thanks to an investment by Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB).
The SET Fund was launched by SunFunder with the aim of accelerating the electrification process in Africa and this financing mechanism has attracted many other investors like Swedfund which injected US$12 million in September 2020.
The fund has also received investment from American Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Calvert Impact Capital, Ceniarth, the IKEA Bank of America Foundation, Mercy Investment Services, Schmidt Family Foundation, as well as several individual investors through the Toniic Impact network.
“Off-grid solutions have played a key role in providing clean, affordable, and reliable energy, especially to rural populations. We are therefore proud to team up with SunFunder and to support this innovative fund that improves access to energy for millions of people”
“Off-grid solutions have played a key role in providing clean, affordable, and reliable energy, especially to rural populations. We are therefore proud to team up with SunFunder – an experienced and impact-conscious partner in this field and to support this innovative fund that improves access to energy for millions of people,” said Sabine Gaber, member of the OeEB Board of Directors.
In Africa, SunFunder particularly supports suppliers of off-grid solar systems, which accelerate the electrification of rural areas and provide clean energy to businesses.
In Nigeria, for example, SunFunder has invested US$4 million in Daystar Power to provide solar energy to industrial and commercial customers.
The investment company has also been involved in several fundraising initiatives, including those of solar-powered irrigation system supplier SunFunder and solar home systems supplier PEG Africa.
Barring any unforeseen events, the coast is clear for Akinwumi Adesina’s re-election next month as president of African Development Bank (AfDB), following his vindication by an Independent Review Panel that probed his previous exonerations by other organs of the bank.
If not for the coronavirus outbreak, Adesina’s re-election would have been held on May 28, until it was postponed to hold between August 25 and 27, while investigations were concluded. However, the verdict Tuesday, of an Independent Review Panel, which exonerated Adesina of any ethical wrongdoings, had cleared the path for Nigeria’s former minister of agriculture to return to the bank for another five-year term.
The Independent Review Panel set up by Bureau of the Board of Governors of the bank, following a complaint by the United States, had the task of reviewing the process by which two organs of the bank – the Ethics Committee of the Board, and the Bureau of the Board of Governors – had previously exonerated him.
The Independent Review Panel in its report stated that it “concurs with the (Ethics) Committee in its findings in respect of all the allegations against the President and finds that they were properly considered and dismissed by the Committee.”
The Panel also once again vindicated Adesina by stating, “It has considered the President’s submissions on their face and finds them consistent with his innocence and to be persuasive.”
The three-member Independent Review Panel included Mary Robinson, who is a former President of the Republic of Ireland; Hassan B. Jallow, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Gambia, and Leonard F. McCarthy, a former Director of Public Prosecutions in South Africa.
It would be recalled that in January 2020, 16 allegations of ethical misconduct were levelled against Adesina by a group of whistle-blowers. The allegations, which were reviewed by the Bank’s Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors in March, were described as “frivolous and without merit.” The findings and rulings of the Ethics Committee were subsequently upheld by the apex Bureau of the Board of Governors in May, which cleared Adesina of any wrongdoing.
The conclusions of the Independent Review Panel are decisive and now clear the way for Governors of the Bank to re-elect Adesina to a second five-year term as President during annual meetings of the Bank scheduled for August 25-27.
In the weeks following Adesina’s travails, there was a wave of solidarity across the continent, and unsurprisingly from Nigeria, his home country. Olusegun Obasanjo, a former Nigerian president, in a letter to some former leaders on the African continent, had reached out to rally their support for Adesina, also, Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s minister of finance, wrote a letter to the chairman of AfDB’s Board of Governors, pointing at external influences undermining the bank’s laid down processes were rejected.
Former President Obasanjo, had in a letter dated May 26, extolled Adesina’s work at the AfDB, saying he had “performed very well in this position over the past five years”. Obasanjo in the letter also stated that Adesina had “taken the bank to great heights. In 2020, he led the bank to achieve a historic general capital increase, raising the capital of the bank from $93bn to $208bn”, further described as the highest in the history of the bank since its establishment in 1964.
He explained that despite these achievements and Adesina’s endorsement for a second term by the whole of Africa, “there are some attempts led by some non-regional member countries of the bank to frustrate his re-election.”
Obasanjo’s letter was copied to Boni Yayi, former President of Benin Republic, Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana; Hailemariam Desalegn, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia; John Kufour, former President of Ghana; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia; Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi.
Others are Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique; Tandja Mamadou; former President of Niger; Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, both former Presidents of South Africa; Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete, both former Presidents of Tanzania; and Mohamed Marzouki; former President of Tunisia.
Ahmed, Nigeria’s minister of finance, on her part wrote Kaba Niala, chairman of AfDB’s Board of Governors, stating that the Nigerian Government had been following developments at the bank closely subsequent to the conclusion and submission of the formal report of the Ethics Committee.
She had protested that the call for an “independent investigation” of Adesina “is outside of the laid down rules, procedures and governing system of the Bank and its Articles as it relates to the Code of Conduct on Ethics for the President”.
While noting that the board of Governors must uphold the rule of law and respect the governance systems of the Bank, Ahmed stated that “If there are any governance issues that need improvement, these can be considered and amendments provided for adoption in line with laid down procedures.”
The figures only refer to their annual remunerations as the highest-paid directors.
The responsibility of piloting a firm’s affairs and ensuring profitability often rests squarely on the shoulders of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Agreed, running a company is never a task that can be accomplished by just one person. But that notwithstanding, CEOs are the ones at the helm of affairs. As such, they take most of the blame for the lows, just as much as they take the credit for the highs.
It goes without saying that CEOs are also the highest-paid staff of every company. In Nigeria, the CEOs of the major companies are remunerated handsomely for their efforts. However, just as much as these companies have ranks in terms of asset size and profitability, so also do their CEOs’ earnings have ranks.
This article, therefore, looks at the highest-paid CEOs of companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The focus here is on how much they earned in 2019.
Do note that the figures given here do not include what the CEOs might earn in dividends as shareholders of their respective companies. The figures only refer to their annual remunerations (executive compensation) as the highest-paid directors.
Ferdinand Moolman, MTN Nigeria, N586 million
Ferdinand Moolman is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of Nigeria’s biggest, non-oil foreign direct investment – MTN Nigeria Communications Plc. He was promoted to the position of CEO on December 1, 2015, as part of a major reshuffling of the telco’s operating structure which was aimed at strengthening operational oversight, leadership, governance, and regulatory compliance.
Before then, he was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), a position he occupied immediately he was transferred from MTN Iran cell where he was the Chief Operating Officer (COO).
It makes a lot of sense that the CEO of the biggest company listed on the Nigerian bourse should be the highest-paid CEO in Nigeria.
Moolman earned N586 million in 2019, 2.5% up from the N571 million he took home in 2018.
Austin Avuru, Seplat, N440 million
Augustine Avuru, the co-founder and CEO of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, is the highest-paid director in his company, and second highest in Nigeria for the year 2019.
Prior to becoming the Chief Executive Officer of Seplat in May 2010, he was Managing Director at Platform Petroleum Limited, a company he founded. He had spent over a decade at Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC), holding different positions including that of wellsite geologist, production seismologist, and reservoir engineer.
He had also worked as an exploration manager and technical manager with Allied Energy Resources in Nigeria, a pioneer deepwater operator, where he spent ten years before starting Platform Petroleum Limited in 2002. He is also a director of MPI, which is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris.
Avuru received N440 million as his remuneration in 2019, a shortfall of N44 million when compared to his 2018 earnings.
Recall that Seplat had announced Roger Brown as the incoming CEO that will take over when Avuru retires on July 31, 2020.
Segun Agbaje, GTBank, N400 million
Segun Agbaje joined Guaranty Trust Bank as a pioneer staff in 1991 and rose through the ranks to become the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in 2011 after Tayo Aderinokun, the previous CEO, passed on.
As CEO, Agbaje took N400 million home in remunerations for the year 2019. This shows an increase of N16 million from his N384 million remuneration in 2018, and given the impressive results that the bank showed for the year, we can say that it was duly justified.
He was recently elected an independent member of the Board of PepsiCo, the American owners of popular beverage drinks Pepsi and Moutain Dew. As Nairametrics reported, Agbaje will officially assume his duties as a board member and audit committee member at PepsiCo by mid-July.
Yaw Nsarkoh, formerly with Unilever Nigeria Plc, N330 million
Yaw Nsarkoh has had a long career within the Unilever Group, occupying top positions like the African Regional Brand Manager, Production Manager for Unilever Ghana, among others.
He headed several regional headquarters of the global manufacturing company, especially in Africa. He also served as a Strategic Assistant to Unilever’s President for Asia, Africa, Central, and Eastern Europe.
He resigned from his position as Managing Director in December 2019, to take up new roles within the Unilever group across Europe. He was succeeded by Carl Raymond Cruz in January 2020. Prior to his departure, he earned N303 million in 2019, 8% less than the N330 million he earned in 2018.
Michael Puchercos, formerly with Lafarge Africa Plc, N272 million
For the financial year ended December 31st, 2019, Michael Puchercos earned N272 million, marking an 18.7% increase when compared to the N229 million he earned in 2018.
Before his appointment as Lafarge Africa Plc’s CEO, he worked in various capacities within the cement industry for two decades. He was the President & Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Halla Cement; Director of Strategy and Systems at Lafarge Gypsum; Chief Executive Officer of Bamburi Cement and Hima Cement; and Chairman of Mbeya Cement in Tanzania.
He resigned from Lafarge in January 2020 to join competitor brand, Dangote Cement Plc and was succeeded by Mr. Khaled Abdelaziz El Dokani, the former country CEO of Lafarge Holcim Iraq.
Jordi Borrut Bel, Nigerian Breweries Plc, N271 million
Jordi Borrut Bel is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc. Mr Bel is an experienced manager and has served in Heineken’s different subsidiaries across different countries. He was Managing Director at Brarudii SA, Manager-Project Distribution at Heineken Slovensko AS, Brand Manager at Heineken France SAS and Director-Sales & Distribution at Heineken España SA. His last position prior to coming to Nigerian was that of the Managing Director of Heineken Burundi.
Bel’s earnings experienced a quantum leap from N190 million in 2018 to N271 million in 2019, an increase of about 42%. He was the sixth highest-paid CEO in 2019.
Mauricio Alarcon, Nestle Nigeria Plc, N218 million
Seventh on the list is Mauricio Alarcon, the Chief Executive Officer of Nestle Nigeria Plc. Alarcon was appointed CEO in 2016, after a progressive 17 years career with the Nestle brand. He started as Area Sales Manager with Nestle Mexico and later became a Senior Brand Manager.
He worked as Marketing Advisor at Nestle Headquarters in Switzerland, Country Manager at Nestle Cote d’Ivoire and later became Managing Director of Nestle Atlantic Cluster between June 2016 and September 2016, overseeing Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire.
Alarcon earned N218 million in 2019, a slight increase from the N210 million in 2018 he earned in 2018, placing him 7th place in the list.
Lars Richter, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, N217 million
Presently, Lars Richter occupies the position of Managing Director & Director at Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, a position he was appointed to in 2018.
Before this appointment, he had garnered over 16 years’ experience in the construction industry, with 10 years spent in Nigeria, in different positions including Division manager, Project manager, and Project engineer.
Richter places 8th on this list, with an income of N217 million in 2019. This is quite a significant reduction from the N319 million he received in 2018 although there is no obvious justification for this.
Emeka Emuwa, Union Bank of Nigeria, N172 million
Emuwa earned an annual net income of N172 million in 2019, the same as he did in 2018. He was appointed CEO of Union Bank of Nigeria in November 2012, after a progressive 25-year banking career at CitiBank across several African countries.
He started out as a Management Assistant at Citibank Nigeria Limited and was later promoted to the position of Country Head, Cameroon. At this time, he was also overseeing all the bank’s activities in the Central African region, including Congo and Gabon.
He occupied strategic positions in the company across several countries like Tanzania, Ghana, Niger, and Nigeria, serving as the CEO between 2005 and 2012, before he took up the appointment with Union Bank Plc.
Imrane Barry, Total Nigeria Plc, N163 million
Total Nigeria Plc has Imrane Barry as its Managing Director. Imrane is not new to the Total group as he had previously served as Managing Director of Total Uganda in 2013, Total Cameroon SA in 2015 and Total Nigeria Plc in 2018. He also worked with other Total affiliates in Kenya and Ivory Coast, at SEP-Congo as the Technical and Transport Director, and in Paris as the Strategy and Development Senior Officer.
He was appointed Deputy Executive Vice-President of Total Africa & Middle East in 2012,
Before joining Total, Imrane worked in several capacities in Engineering and Construction Companies in Guinea Conakry, Cote d’Ivoire and Gabon.
Imrane took home N163 million as remunerations in 2019, 41% more than his 2018 earnings of N115 million.
Note that these figures were sourced from the companies’ FY 2019 audited financial statement. As such, the figures represent these CEOs’ income for the year 2019. As was explained in the article, a couple of the CEOs no longer occupy their positions, but since there has not been a full year financial statement explaining what their successors might be earning, these figures are the most recent.