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We Have Continued To Create Innovative Solutions – Jim Ovia



Chairman of Zenith Group, owners of Nigeria’s leading financial institution, Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia has said the bank has continued to be in the forefront of creating innovative solutions for raising benchmarks and setting the pace in financial technology.

He restated the commitment of the bank to continue to deliver higher returns on investment to its investors despite the prevailing economic challenges.

Speaking at the 27th annual general meeting of Zenith Bank in Abuja at the weekend, Ovia reiterated the bank’s commitment to continually delight its customers as part of its central focus in business operation.

“As a leader in the digital space, with an unwavering determination for raising benchmarks and setting the pace in financial technology, we have invested immensely in new technologies and digital solutions… the goal for us particularly as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) beckons in Africa is to continually create innovative solutions that ensure convenience, speed and safety of transactions”, he stated.

Noting that Zenith Bank remains committed to delivering superior returns to its valued shareholders, Ovia said the huge profit posted by the Bank in its 2017 financial year is not just a proof that Zenith Bank is the leading financial institution in the country, but also a clear indication of its resilience and reliability, even in the most challenging times as the Nigerian economy experienced in 2017.

At the annual general meeting, Zenith Bank Plc declared the sum of N174billion as gross Profit-Before-Tax for the year ended 2017. The figure is higher than the N140billion recorded as Profit-Before-Tax in 2016, which shows that its profit rose by 24 per cent in the year under review.

Similarly, the bank’s Profit-After-Tax in the turbulent 2017 financial year for all sectors of the nation’s economy rose by 32 per cent, from N119 billion in 2016 to N157 billion in 2017.

The bank’s total deposits received within the year-ended December 31, 2017 stood at N2.74trillion, representing an eight per cent increase over the previous year’s figure of N2.55trillion.

Ovia acknowledged the fact that it was a remarkable year marked by significant global and local financial and economic developments, which he said impacted on the bank’s business in both negative and positive ways.

“We were however, able to leverage the resilience of our brand to successfully weather the social-economic headwinds and utilize inherent opportunities”, he disclosed.

He informed the thousands of shareholders who filled the coveted Shehu Yar’Adua centre in Abuja that despite the stagflation that held all sectors of the nation’s economy to ransom in 2017, Zenith Bank was able to still coast home to growth in shareholders’ Gross earnings, which grew by 48 per cent from N455billion in 2016 to N674billion in 2017, showing strength over its folks.

“Zenith Bank was able to fully exploit the opportunities within the environment,” he said, adding that “this translated into an excellent performance that stands as a testament to the durability and resilience of the brand.”

The results, he added, “are, once again, a reflection of the exceptional financial health of the Bank and the Group.”

Ovia said he was also proud to announce to the crowd that during the same period, total assets of the bank grew from N4.28trillion to N4.83trillion, representing 13 per cent.

On the other hand, Zenith Bank’s shareholders’ fund also rose by 15 per cent, representing an increase from N616billion in 2016 to N708billion in 2017.

The business mogul noted that the Bank has made tremendous progress in its vision to entrench sustainability principles into its business operations, including product offerings, credit and loan administration, vendors’ relations and employee management.

“In clear demonstration of our commitment to the ideals and tenets of corporate sustainability and responsibility principles hinged on the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit, the Bank, in the course of the year, made donations towards the setting up of ICT centres in several educational institutions across the country”, he stated, while highlighting the key initiatives of the Bank in the year under review.

The shareholders expressed delight over the resilience and innovative capacity of the management of Zenith Bank to come out with outstanding results in 2017 when Nigeria’s economy was neck deep in recession. 

On his part, the bank’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Peter Amangbo, attributed the bank’s achievements to its customers, partners and staff.

“Our customers, partners and staff have been a rare heritage and a major fillip in achieving the creative system and practices necessary to do things right and do the right things at the operational, business and corporate levels. We shall continue to draw on these cultural resources and myriad assets to stay ahead”, Amangbo noted.