Nigeria : Bank official on infrastructural development and growth

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The Managing Director of one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, the First City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB), Mr. Ladi Balogun, has underscored the need to improve the state of Infrastructure as a way of providing conducive atmosphere for business to thrive in the country.

“The economy will not grow as expected if the present condition of infrastructure did not improve. The main problem is not capital anymore but an efficient and effective build and operate system which currently is lacking in the system due to the regulatory environment,” Balogun told stockbrokers and the investing public during the presentation of the Bank’s Facts Behind the Figures.

He said as a way of improving the situation FCMB had earmarked 12 billion naira to support businesses in the provision of roads, housing, electricity, information communication technology in the next five years.

The Bank Chief also disclosed that the Small Medium Enterprises (SME) would be boosted by offering advisory services and management support to the sector, adding that the organisation was also partnering with Micro Finance companies to provide funds for the low-income earners.

“Our aim is to increase our profit earning. We are poised to become number one consumer banker in the country, the room for growth is massive. Through a combined strategies we hope to achieve our objectives,” Balogun added.

With about 140 branches across Nigeria, Profit after tax of 15 billion naira and more than one billion-dollar capital base, the bank said it would pay dividends twice this year to its shareholders.

“Earning per share will rise by 92 kobo, we expect the share to be trading at about 24 naira in the nearest future. Over the next two years, Profit after tax is expected to grow by 60 per cent, earning per share to rise to N5.50,” the bank chief added.

At the close of transactions Wednesday, the FCMB share lost N0.20 to close at N18.55. But market operators are optimistic that there is great potentials for the stock to rise in the nearest future given the Bank’s management drive.

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