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Addressing False Information Alleging Impending Commercial Banking License Seizure and Bank Closure

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Recent industry occurrences have given rise to an influx of false information and propaganda targeted at causing unrest in the Nigerian financial services industry. Among this fake news is a WhatsApp messages alleging that a number of commercial banks stand at risk of losing their banking license and being closed; one of the banks mentioned was Wema Bank. We categorically confirm that this claim is FALSE and contrary to the reality of Wema Bank’s financial strength.

 
THE PREMISE
In a statement allegedly signed by The National Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners/Federal Civil Service Pensioners (NUP/FCSP), Abuja Branch, Wema Bank was mentioned as one of the commercial banks slated for impending license seizure by the CBN. The statement further urged pensioners and by extension the public, to relinquish their Wema Bank accounts and adopt other banks not listed in the statement, as a “proactive step against being caught in the web of the impending closure of the mentioned banks”.

THE TRUTH
Wema Bank is of sound financial health and at no risk of license seizure or closure. Our financial performance showcases financial strength and stability, as validated by stakeholders and auditors at our 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM); a feat we have achieved despite Nigeria’s economic fluctuations. In addition, we are moving ahead to meet the N200bn minimum capital requirement stipulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria for a commercial bank license with national authorization. We have raised an additional N40bn in fresh capital over the past months and are on the path to meet the target within 18 months.

Our financial strength is evident not only in our 2023 financial report and Q1 2023 financial results but also in our growth trends over the past years, which ascertain that we are equipped to continue thriving. As reported in our FY 2023 Audited financial results, our financials grew strongly in the past year with a 196% increase in Profit Before Tax (PBT) from N14.75bn to N43.59bn, 220.4% increase in Profit After Tax (PAT) from N11.21bn to N33.66bn, 70.63% increase in Gross Earnings from N132.30bn to N225.75, 53.64% increase in Loans disbursed from N521.43bn to N801.10bn, 26% increase in Capital Adequacy Ratio from N12.74bn to N16.04bn and a remarkable 220.53% increase in Earnings per share from N87.2 to N279.5, among other successful upturns. Our Non-Performing Loan rate also stands at 4.31%, one of the lowest in the industry.

Furthermore, our stable financial future has been recently verified by the Pan-African rating agency Agusto & Co, who recently upgraded our rating to Bbb+ with ESG Score of 2 and confirmation of stable outlook. Despite financial headwinds, our Q1 2024 financial results show that we are on track to equal and/or surpass our 2023 results by the end of 2024.

In view of our positive financial record and solid financial standing, the claims made are not only 100% false but also unsubstantial and have no grounds or basis for consideration.

 
MEASURES TAKEN

With confidence in our financial standing and stable outlook, we have petitioned the security officials to invite NUP for questioning and will be taking legal action on the perpetrator(s) of this libelous statement. 

Wema Bank is firm in its commitment to providing optimum returns for every stakeholder, and we will not condone the circulation of false information that could potentially cause panic in the country.
 

As we follow through with stringent measures to hold the creators(s) of this allegation accountable, we take this moment to confirm categorically that Wema Bank is well equipped to continue serving our customers as a commercial Bank with National banking authorization, keep up the positive trends as we expand our reach and continue to provide all our shareholders and stakeholders with optimum returns.

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Gov AbdulRazaq Announces Minor Cabinet Reshuffle

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has effected a minor cabinet reshuffle involving four commissioners.

Those affected are the Commissioner for Social Development Hon. Afolashade Justina, who moves to Women Affairs; and the Commissioner for Women Affairs Hon. Bosede Olaitan Buraimoh who switches to Social Development.

Hon. Commissioner for Youth Development Nafisat Buge moves to the Ministry of Environment, whose Commissioner Hon. Shehu Ndanusa Usman moves to the Ministry of Youth Development.

The cabinet reshuffle takes immediate effect.

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Kwara Gov excited as Nigerian Army launches CBT Centre in Igbaja

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  • Gov hails Army’s support for internal security, seeks respect for security agencies
  • Army Chief lauds Gov’s support in Kwara, North Central • Gov attends Igbaja Day, now Taiyese of Irese Land

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Thursday advocated more appreciation for the sacrifices of the security agencies, including the Nigerian Army.

He said the military has played important roles to support civilian authorities at all times, including at a time when the country was under intense pressure from hostile non-state actors.

The Governor spoke in Igbaja, Ifelodun LG of the state, at the commissioning of a Computer Based Testing (CBT) center, a special intervention project of the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS), Lieutenant General T. A. Lagbaja.

The project was executed by Major General Adelokun Eyitayo, a serving military officer and native of Igbaja Land, who also launched his three books, titled: ‘Life of Prince Daud and Spirituality; Tears for Suni and Titi; and The Boy on the Highland’.

“This Computer Centre means a lot for the socioeconomic growth of this community. Not only does it nudge members of the community towards acquisition of necessary skills for this age; it opens up new frontiers of socioeconomic benefits for Igbaja and communities around it,” the Governor said.

“I am also fascinated by the spirit behind this project. It is timely and necessary. The need for better military-civil relations cannot be over-emphasized. Recent developments in our country again suggest a need to deepen citizens’ appreciation of the sacrifices that our security forces make to keep us safe, stabilise the fabric of our society, and ward off every threat against the Nigerian state.

“Over the last two decades, the military has played very important roles to support civilian authorities at all times, including at a time when our country came under intense pressure from hostile non-state actors.”

AbdulRazaq commended the Federal Government and the Chief of Army Staff for establishing the CBT centre that he said will aid skill acquisition and boost socioeconomic growth of the area.

“We therefore cannot thank the federal government and our military enough. We must appreciate and honour members of our security forces, including military personnel deployed in internal operations and during emergencies, and cease all attacks on them,” he added.

The commissioning attracted various dignitaries, including the CoAS Lieutenant General T. A. Lagbaja, who was represented by Maj Gen Obinna Onubogu; the Elese of Igbajaland Oba Ahmed Awuni Arepo III; and Igbaja CBT Project Executor Major General Adelokun Eyitayo; among others.

Lagbaja, for his part, said the execution of the project further affirms the transformational drive of the Nigerian Army towards achieving its constitutional responsibility through a non-kinetic line of operations.

The Army Chief thanked Governor AbdulRazaq and the people of the state for their continued support for the operations of the Nigerian Army.

“The Nigerian Army has received tremendous support from your government. It is also gladdening to note that we have enjoyed cordial working relationships with you over the years, and your support has contributed immensely to our operational success within the state and the entire North Central region,” he said.

Maj Gen. Eyitayo thanked CoAS for the approval of the project and his unwavering support for its delivery.

He also appreciated the Governor for directing the purchase and supply of his three books for the use of students of public secondary schools in the state.

The Governor, meanwhile, attended the 2024 Igbaja Day celebration, where he urged the people of Igbaja to continue to recognise the rich cultural heritage and diversity that makes the community to be unique.

He congratulated the Elese of Igbaja, the Jagunmolu of Igbaja and founder of Al-hikmah University Chief Oladimeji Igbaja, and all sons and daughters of Igbaja community on the celebration, requesting them to continue to unite for accelerated growth.

“Let us embrace and celebrate our diversity, and continue to build bridges of understanding and empathy,” the Governor said.

“As you are aware, our administration has embarked on various projects that touched the lives of everyone across the state, including Igbajaland. We will continue to do more to improve the lives of our people.”

Chief Oladimeji, who was excited by the Governor’s culture of arriving early for events, praised AbdulRazaq for time management, and how the administration has executed many laudable programmes and projects in the town and elsewhere.

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Africa needs to be competitive, says Chike-Obi, Fidelity Bank’s Chairman

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Africa needs to be competitive and efficient in its area of strength, according to Mustafa Chike-Obi, the Chairman of Fidelity Bank, who spoke with CNBC Africa’s Kenneth Igbomor on the sidelines of the AFREXIMBANK Annual meetings in Nassau, the Bahamas.

Chike-Obi emphasized the importance of focused and sharp leadership in harnessing the continent’s strengths to achieve prosperity. He highlighted the need for Africa to identify areas of competitive advantage in producing goods and services efficiently to unlock its full potential.

He pointed out that success stories in areas like sports demonstrate Africa’s potential when leveraging advantages. However, he stressed the crucial role of collaboration and seamless interaction among African nations and regions for sustainable development.

The chairman urged for enhanced integration to facilitate the movement of goods and services across the continent, emphasizing the necessity to work collectively towards common goals.

Chike-Obi also addressed the importance of prioritizing Africa’s strengths, such as power supply, through cohesive policies and agreements to drive economic growth. He emphasized the need for coordinated banking policies to promote financial integration within Africa and with external partners, emphasizing the significance of streamlined banking services and transactions.

The Chairman highlighted the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as a significant opportunity for economic advancement but called for more practical implementation to ensure its effectiveness. He underscored the importance of execution in translating policies into tangible outcomes for the African people.

Reflecting on the annual meetings and the discussions on trade and investment, Chike-Obi reiterated the critical importance of collaboration for Africa’s progress, emphasizing that unity and concerted efforts are essential for realizing the continent’s potential.

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