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By NBF News
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By Babajide Komolafe
SHAREHOLDERS of Fidelity Bank Plc are to receive dividend of N4.05 billionĀ  for the bank's operating year ended December 31, 2012. The dividend, which translates to 14 kobo per share, was approved at the 24th annual general meeting of the bank held in Lagos, yesterday.

Addressing shareholders at the meeting, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, assured that the bank is working to ensure a better performance in the 2012 operating year.

He also assured shareholders that the bank will continue to expand its retail business adding that in 2011, the bank established 18 new branches at target locations, in line with the expansion strategy.

Ihejiahi said: 'Nigeria's population size and natural resources combine to present varied opportunities for economic growth and demand for banking services across various population categories. Our branch expansion category reflects these opportunity clusters. Our total branch network increased from 172 in 2010 to 185 as at December 2011.

'This measured growth in distribution points increased our capacity to distribute appropriate branded products and services as well as strengthen the linkage effects with our existing business office which has huge implication for non interest base income.'

He said the bank will continue to strengthen and increase its share of corporate business through several initiatives, adding that the bank was able to enlarge its general business and loan portfolio by funding the telecommunications, power and infrastructure, oil and gas, processed food and agric sectors last year.

He noted: 'We have maintained our stand on the financing of pioneer power and infrastructure projects through the completion of N2.45 billion 10 megawatts power plant in Marina, Lagos, for Island Power Limited and the syndicated N20.8 billion 128 kilometre natural gas pipeline project for East Horizon Gas Limited.