Excellency, Most Reverend Dr. C.V.C. Onaga,
Bishop of Enugu and Principal community shareholder,
Other Esteemed Shareholders, Directors, Representatives of Government and Financial Institutions, Invited Guests, Gentlemen of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen,
NARRATING THE PAST AS PRESENT
On July 22nd 1995, Most Reverend Michael Ugwu Eneja, the very humble, hard working, simple, exemplary, beloved and holy servant of God and then Catholic Bishop of Enugu - 1919 to 2008 (RIP) with the entire people of God in the presence of the then Military Administrator of Enugu State, Col Mike Lucky Torrey (RIP) with his entire officials of government graced the occasion at the Aula of the Catholic Institute for Development Justice Peace and Caritas (CIDJAP) to officially declare the Umuchinemere Bank, then licensed as a Community Bank open. The euphoria and historical importance of that event continues to resonate as we gather today, the 2nd of December, 2014 on the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the founding of our bank (1995 to 2005) to enact our Annual General Meeting and narrate the past as present.
Many of you shall recall that sunny day in July 1995 during the height of the rainy season when heaven showered blue skies instead of water upon our land and diocese. The members of the Catholic Men Organisation under their then Chairman and the founding Chairman of our bank Chief Sir Gabriel Akachukwu KSJi; the Catholic Women Organization in large numbers and with color under their then Chairperson, the Omenwa, Mama Elizabeth Chioke (RIP); the Catholic Youth under the able Engineer Obodoechina Mba (RIP) zealous, youthful and hardworking gathered to witness the birth of this baby, namely our BANK.
On that day, nineteen years ago, Enugu town stood tall and still for those hours of the inauguration of our bank which started with a concelebrated Holy Mass by the Bishop and all diocesan priests, religious and lay faithful in attendance. This faith and belief in the power of the risen Lord to transform people, countries and institutions remains the hidden strength of our bank. Umuchinemere Procredit Micro Finance Bank is a bank founded on the principles of Faith and Reason, Theory and Action, Belief and Reality. It is our pastoral response in the Catholic Diocese of Enugu to the tenets of Christian Social Teaching and the Encyclical Letter of The Blessed Pope Paul IV "Populorum Progressio" (on the development of peoples, 1969) in the fight against poverty and man-made denial of access of people to basic needs in Nigeria.
We desire to touch lives, build communities, create jobs and wealth, promote enterprise, encourage innovative behavior, establish high ethical standards in business transactions and transform society in the light of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Thereby, we render poverty irrelevant as it is not God-determined. Yes, we can say so from the records of our performance as a bank which origins in the past are narrated in the present as gift, challenge and opportunity. Performing thus, we offer both joy and hope to thepeoples of Africa as a leading Micro Finance Bank.
UPMFB LTD - READY TO GIVE INSTEAD OF JUST RECEIVING:
The foundation of Umuchinemere bank,re-modeled as a Micro-Finance Bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria since 2007 has touched positively on thousands of families, individuals and livelihoods in Nigeria even beyond the horizons of our diocese. It has impacted on the progress of children, housewives and men, youth and pensioners, unemployed persons, students, workers and labourers, entrepreneurs and religious institutions in their overall search for a meaningful means and resources for existence. This is one bank that started with just fifty thousand Naira of paid-up Share Capital in1995 as required by Community Banking Edict/ Law at the time. Today, the institution has grown with numbers, quality and quantity to gradually attain near to three Billion Naira in assets within twenty years This is a marvel in our eyes, knowing fully well that many of those banks that started at the same time no longer exist. Statistics show that out of the over 1000 MFB's that flourished then in Nigeria, only a few tell the story in the present tense.
Furthermore, of all the micro Credit Banks in Nigeria as at date, the CBN has graded our UPMFB amongst the top Ten. The government of Enugu State has continued to find the UPMFB reliable in partnership due to its reliability, credibility and service efficiency. The Catholic Bishop of Enugu has continued to encourage the entire religious, laity and clergy to seek the services of the bank as "our own". During the recently held 2014 CBN and GBF national Entrepreneur awards at Abuja, client of the Umuchinemere Bank was recognized by the President of the Federal Republic and the Governor of the Central Bank at the event amongst recipients ofAwards at that highest level. During the period of reporting, The Managing director of the Bank has become a member of the African Business Ethics Network in far away Cape Town South Africa and two staff of the institution, namely the Company Secretary and the Manager of Operations have recently undergone specific training programs abroad.
The accolades continue coming, locally, regionally, nationally and even internationally and your UPMFB has lived true to its name, Umu - Chi - na - Emere and has created a niche for itself. This is not to quantify the spiritual, mental, social, economic and even cultural importance which the bank has brought to bear on our pioneering evangelizing mission in Eastern Nigeria as a Christian Church and a leading catholic community within Nigeria. The bank unlike many others is often ready to give instead of only receiving. It is at the service of the community. Surely, the great Bishop Joseph Shanahan and his team of Irish missionaries built on good soil. May their memories and those of our forbears rest in peace and receive divine rewards, Amen.
FAILURE HAS NO FRIENDS, SUCCESS HAS MANY:
Recall that the CIDJAP building which housed the bank and promoted its activities alongside virtually all diocesan institutions and people of goodwill can today look back and smile in gratitude to God who makes all things good to happen. We now have a bank with twenty branches and customer relations offices, stretching from Enugu town and the deanery with all the main markets served to all the other Deaneries of of our Diocese in the regions of Agbani, Aguobu Owa and Udi. The bank has offices in Amokwe, Oji River, Ngwo, Oghe, Umana Ndiagu, Umumba Ndiagu. Offices are also found in Ozalla, Agbani town, Abakpa, Emene, Godfrey Okoye University, ugbo Odogwu, Afia Nine, Artisan market, Ogbete Market, Garriki, New Market etc. Failure has no friends. Only success has friends and they hover around as long as the success lasts.
True friends stay on and never leave, through thick and thin. This is the history and the legacy of your bank. This is the reason why the shareholders have gathered today for our AGM to count the blessings and fortify our future with good decisions taken today. The Diocese of Enugu under three Bishops have shown continuity, consistency and catholicity in the support rendered to the bank. Under the present Bishop, the diocese has become the largest shareholder and every parish, Organisation and group is by mandate encouraged to be a customer of the bank.
Ladies and gentlemen, as we thank all our customers, shareholders and stakeholders, permit me with great delight, privilege and with gratitude to Almighty God, to officially welcome all of you to the 18th Annual General Meeting of our bank and to present the Financial Statement for the year ended 2013 as Chairman.
GLOBAL, SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT DURING THE PERIOD:
The United Nation's Millenium Development Goals in year 2000 at the turn of a new millennium determined to bring down the poverty levels worldwide by reducing poverty to 50 percent by year 2015. This enormous challenge is being made possible by the existence of UPMFB Ltd which has touched over one million lives in various ways, has a customer base of over three hundred thousand accounts since inception, has granted credits and loans to over One Hundred thousand clients, amounting to over one billion Naira. The bank has employed over three hundred capable and employable staff directly and in adjunct levels through outsourcing, thereby guaranteeing sustainable livelihoods.
The UPMFB LTD has helped one hundred catholic parishes touch capital for infrastructural, agricultural and resources development, assisted thousands of women at the CWO and other entrepreneurs, micro lenders, groups and communities to build wealth and progress their enterprises. Many students today are at school because their parents can guarantee immediate funding for their children's school fees through your bank, even when salaries by employers do not flow as regularly as expected. One needs only to think about the Godfrey Okoye University, our model Catholic University and a leading example of knowledge generation which collaboration with the bank makes its financial needs and headaches less likely.
From a global perspective, the Millennium Development Goals do not download its policies into action but needs others to so do. The policies and visions are useful. They assume meaning on the breakfast tables of peoples through such institutions as the UPMFB which makes theories assume flesh. The global environment has been unfriendly to efforts at peace since the last few years. Such cases of turbulence impact negatively on the economies of nations and the poor suffer most. Despite the various political and socio- economic historical problems which emerge, and the daily newspapers tell the story of growing refugees in many countries, Boko Haram insurgencies increases in Nigeria and there is growing unrest in the Middle East. The areas of Asia has its troubles. Stability and long term planning problems affect economic activities in Europe and America due to manmade reasons of greed and unethical capitalist or planned economic trajectories in their banking sectors.
The global environment has remained flexible, undetermined, furious, aggressive and wanting on its responsibilities to make poverty redundant. The idea to create an environment of peace for a long time as often preached by Pope Francis and the famous document "Veritas in caritate" of Pope Benedict XVI is yet to be realised. In these circumstances, we are all challenged and the UPMFB takes such challenge serious. According to Ernst and Young, at current growth rates, the financial services sector could make up around 20% of the continuous collective GDP within the next decade, compared with 10% today. With this statement, significant growth opportunities remain in both the retail and wholesale sectors that will in turn allow UPMFB to create a significant shareholder value in the long term. This is our venture, risk and success.
NATIONAL ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT:
From available statistics in Nigeria, the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) moved slightly higher from 6.5% in 2012 to 6.54% in 2013. The exchange rate of naira to dollar stood at N155.2 in the official market. Oil export, Nigeria's major income earner sustained a flexible and sometimes critical calculation of expected income. The development affected the purchasing power of our naira in the International Market. Poverty level was on increase during the year. This was characterized by high unemployment, little engagement in agriculture, rural migration, inflation, corruption in the public sector, educational and health inadequacies, persistent Bomb blasts, terrorist attacks, incessant burning of public buildings and churches, kidnapping, refugees and immigrants from one part of the country to the other. This unstable state had an adverse effect in our business as a Bank in that the heavy dependency of these returnees on their relatives has slowed down economic activities as consumption increased without a matching increase in production and wealth creation activities.
The Central Bank of Nigeria in a bid to maintain sound and healthy financial institutions did maintain more stringent banking rules. The Risk Based Supervision of banks moved the focus from Cooperate Governance Issues to Risk Assessment Issues. This is where the apex bank supervises these sectors of economy that we have lent money to. The main aim of the Risk Based Supervision is to ascertain how much Toxic Loans and Advances the bank carries and to make sure that adequate provisions are made to take care of emergencies in case of default of that loan. In recent times, the health challenges of citizens and fear of the famous Ebola disease was heightened by the media and its unfortunate unfriendly African image internationally. Although Ebola disease distorted the social climate and led to the early deaths of a few Nigerians, the country showed exemplary leadership. In some other African countries, the Ebola disease has led to the crumbling of the economy to a large extent. Thank God Nigeria has been declared Ebola free by the World Health Organisation of the United Nations.
UMUCHINEMERE BANK ON THE NATIONAL FRONTLINE:
A Chairman, I was invited by the new CBN Governor to Abuja alongside the Top 10 Micro Finance Banks in Nigeria under the Micro Finance Bank Platform to brainstorm on activities, policies and regulations and how to fight unemployment in Nigeria, create wealth, support small and medium scale entrepreneurs, support initiatives of government and play leading role as corporate citizen delivering financial services in Nigeria.
Umuchinemere Micro Finance Bank as a member of the platform has benefited immensely in trainings organized by the Stakeholders of Micro Finance platform which is made up of Regulatory Bodies, Participating Micro Finance Banks, and Sponsors like Afos Foundation, Credit Bureau and other Stakeholders. The plans since 2013 and the launching and application of N220 billion Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund recently by the President of Nigeria is aimed at existing and potential manufacturing industries to receive the opportunities of increasing their market share penetration by making capitals available for business. This will in turn increase our domestic product, create wealth and job opportunities. Our bank is part of this activity and has already received invitation from the Enugu state Government to deliver services along these areas. We are grateful to the State Government and feel confident to serve whenever called upon to do so.
PERFORMANCE AND FINANCIAL INDICATORS:
The above mentioned operating environment in 2013 notwithstanding, the UPMFB recorded improvements from 2012 to 2013 in some key financial performance indicators. The total assets for 2013 increased by 10% from ₦1.884 billion in 2012 to ₦2.099 billion in 2013. These assets were broken down into subheads. Term Loans and Advances increased by 28% from ₦413 million disbursed in 2012 to ₦573 million disbursed in 2013 a positive variance of ₦160.7 million.
Other assets increased by 32% from ₦54.6 million in 2012 to ₦80.2 million in 2013 while Fixed Assets recorded increase of 17% from ₦156 million in 2012 to ₦185 million in 2012.
Other Liabilities increased by 21% from ₦18.3 million in 2012 to ₦23 million in 2013. Dividend Payable showed an increase by 33% from ₦45.1 million in 2012 to ₦67.3 million 2013. Paid up Capital increased by 8% from ₦277.9 million in 2012 to ₦300.5 million in 2013 while Share Premium increased by 22% from ₦14.3 million in 2012 to ₦18.3 million in 2013.
Statutory Reserves indicated increase by 18% from ₦177.5 million in 2012 to ₦217.1 million in 2013. However, the total Shareholders Fund increased by 10% from ₦538.8 million in 2012 to ₦599.6 million in 2013.
Gross Earnings for the bank increased by 7% from ₦359 million in 2012 to ₦385 million in 2013. Profit before Tax reduced by 45% from ₦120.8 million in year 2012 to ₦83.17 million in 2013. This is as a result of increased provision figure made for Bad and Doubtful Debts to guard against any eventualities. Profit After Tax reduced by 48% from ₦116.8 million in 2012 to ₦79.1 million in 2013. This has been due to provisions made by the bank to cover bad debts.
Earnings per Share dropped from 42k in 2012 to 26k in 2013 while Dividend per Share increased from 1 lkin 2012 to 15k in 2013.
These achievements recorded in 2013 may not have been done without committed efforts of our Workforce, Customers and Shareholders. I thank you for your support.
BOARD AND MANAGEMENT:
The Board of Umuchinemere Procredit Micro Finance Bank is made up of highly dedicated, capable and loyal men and women of respect and integrity. Board members work as a team to achieve common goals. The seven members of the Board are: Very Rev. Msgr. Anthony Anijielo, Rev Fr. Dr. Geofrey Aguigwo, Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Agu, Rev. Fr. Dr. Anthony Igwe, Chief Sir Gilbert Obu, Mrs. Ekete Nnenna (Managing Director) and my humble self as Chairman of the Board. His Royal Highness, Igwe R.C. Ani and Lady Eucharia Enebe still seat as Directors in
attendance. The Company secretary is a dedicated Reverend Sister Benedicta Odoh DDL who is a legal adviser to the institution. Dear Shareholders, may I inform you that following the CBN instruction for UP-MFB to streamline the Board Committee, we have acted accordingly. So far, the Board Audit Committee is chaired by Dr Mrs Ngozi Agu while General Purpose Committee is chaired by Fr Anthony Igwe. The Chairman of Establishment and ICT Committee is Msgr. Anthony Anijielo while Rev. Fr. Aguigwo and Chief G.N. Obu are Chairmen of Procurement, Security/Works and Credit and Risk Management respectively. The Managing Director is the Chairman of Investment Committee while Rev. Sr. Barrister Benedicta Odoh is still the Company Secretary and Secretary to all committees. Mr Emeka Ibe, chartered Auditor from Lagos as shareholder remains the chairman of the Audit committee. As part of Corporate Governance, the Chairman of the Board is not a member of any committee.
At management level there were no new changes. The six key management staff are:
1. Mrs. Ekete Nnenna M. - Managing Director
2. Mr. Ozor C.A. - Asst. General Manager Head of Operations
3. Mr. Ezeagu Cyprain - Senior Manager Head Internal Audit
4. Mr. Okeke Odinaka - Senior Manager Head of Credit
5. Mr. Ngene Ikechukwu - Senior Manager Head Business Development
6. Mr. Eze Cajetan - Senior Manager Head Human Resources
7. Mrs. Ofoje Bibbian - Senior Manager Head Finance & Accounts
OTHER MANAGEMENT STAFF:
1. Mr. Iheanacho Charles - Regional Manager Abakpa Branch
2. Mr. Umeh John - Regional Manager 9th Mile Branch
3. Mr. Arum Emeka - Branch Manager Agbani Branch
4. Mr. Achu - Branch Manager Garriki Branch
5. Mr. Ozoana Fabian - Branch Manager Geofrey Okoye University
6. Mrs. Okafor Chioma - Head Shares mobilization
7. Engr. Uzodi Gloria - Head ICT
8. Sir. AnueyiaguAbuchi - PRO/Media Officer
We lost one of our Committee Chairpersons in the person of Very Rev. Msgr. Anthony Aso after a brief illness. May his Gentle Soul Rest in Peace Amen! May I request you to stand in honour to this great man who was Chaplain to the laity and dedicated supporter of the Church at the founding of the bank. The bank also lost one of her hardworking dedicated staff, Mr. Stanislaws Igboeli in a ghastly motor cycle accident at Afor Oghe in Ezeagu L.G.A. May his Gentle Soul Rest in Peace Amen!
TRAINING AND HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT:
Our bank recognizes the fact that its greatest asset is human resources development and thereby invested heavily on the continuous training and re-training of the workforce, both in-house and outside, locally and internationally. This was to ensure that staff have adequate knowledge, exposures and expertise to make meaningful contribution to the growth and sustainability of the institution. All the Management Staff including some non management staff have attended the CBN and NDIC Certification Programme.
As already mentioned, your bank was selected as one of the top 10 Micro Finance Bank in Nigeria working under the Micro Finance Bank platform. The platform has availed participating banks training opportunities under the sponsorship ofAfos Foundation and other stakeholders to equip staff of participating banks to meet the challenges ahead. Some Management staff, Loan Officers, Credit and Risk Analyst in our bank have been trained under this platform.
The Company Secretary, Rev. Sr. Odoh and Mr. Ozor Charles have attended some good training at the African Marketing and Development Institution (AMADI) in Journessburg, South Africa. The Managing Director, Mrs. Ekete also attended training at the University of StellenBosch, Business School, Cape Town South Africa. Staff have been scheduled to attend trainings in line with the approved training programmes. The bank did not register fraud cases but has fired some staff whose ethical conducts were unbecoming.
COMPLIANCE WITH REGULATORY POLICIES AND CBN PROGRAMMES:
In response to CBN Programme, UP-MFB has keyed into Government Programme by lending farmers in the state funds under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme. This is Government initiatives where CBN guarantees 75% of whatever amount the banks give as loans and advances under Agriculture and upon full settlement of the loans, the clients get back 40% of whatever interest paid as rebate under Interest Draw Back (IDB).
So far ninety six (96) clients have enjoyed the IDB and total amount repaid by CBN was N1,600,450. Our bank came 3rd position among the participating Microfinance Banks in Enugu as recorded by CBN and we were honoured. During this year's Entrepreneurship Award, our client Mr. Nnamdi Dumaka won an award as the Best Entrepreneur for the year in Abuja and a cheque of ₦350,000 was given to him, We are also happy to inform you that your bank was among the Eight Micro Finance Banks selected by ENSG to partner with them in the Small and Medium Enterprises Funds. I encourage CWO, female groups within the Diocese to pick up the forms in the bank offices and branches as this is in line with the Government strategies to reduce poverty level. Again, 60% of this fund is specifically meant for women entrepreneurs.
On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of our bank, I thank you for our continued Good Will, collaboration and patronage. I thank in a special way our Bishop, the clergy, religious, parishes and highly valued Customers whose continued patronage makes the bank the leading institution it is. May I use this opportunity to appreciate our distinguished Shareholders for the trust reposed on our bank. I thank Management for their loyalty and dedication.
CONCLUSION AND CHALLENGES:
Challenges remain and it is our common task to brace up to them with solutions. The most important challenge currently is that we have large funds to give as credit and loans to our good customers. But they must repay. Getting customers to repay loans as and when due is critical to our survival as a bank. If you have good ideas, approach the management with your suggestions on this threatening challenge.
Secondly, Nigeria has rolled out a cashless economy policy which make our bank think up- front and desire to enter into the ATM and Internet banking and mobile banking services. Watch out for the products. Thirdly, issues of security at period of growing fraud make our bank to be ahead and about. We count on you as you assist the bank with your talents in this regard. Fourthly, fighting unemployment is key. Send your qualified youth for applications and employment as we move into new areas to open branches. Make enquiries from the Human Resources Department which we have expanded and ensure that branches are opened up in your villages. Finally, the bank has again opened up the purchase of shares and this decision was taken at an Extra-Ordinary AGM earlier this year. All existing shareholders are encouraged to use the opportunity and new shareholders are welcome.
In line with our rural empowerment scheme as a Micro Finance Bank, your bank has been approached to open up new offices at Ugwogo Nike and at Ibagwa Nike. We shall comply with these requests even as we have applied to the CBN to approve Amokwe as a full branch and Ozalla as a CMP. The common spirit which took us from a small Community Bank to a unit Micro Finance Bank in 2007, to a State Bank in year 2011 and now to one of the top 10 Micro Finance Bank in Nigeria operating at state level today is one of resilience and determination. Our plan to open an office at Abuja is concluded and we thank you for supporting your Board and Management in these plans.
Fundamentally, the Board is committed to establishing the highest standard of Corporate Governance that enables effective decision making with clear responsibilities. We will learn from the past, address all of the issues as they arise and lay firm foundations for UP-MFB continued success, we invite you to be part of the events for the celebration and Awards event of UPMFB at twenty years next year 2015. You are all invited!
On behalf of the Board, I present to you for approval a dividend of 15k per share alongside with the appointment and fixture of the Auditors Fees. Thank you for listening and we entrust all our plans, initiatives and successes into the hands of the benevolent father in heaven under whose care everything is possible. To God be praise forever. Amen.
Msgr. Obiora Ike
Chairman's Statement at the 2013 AGM
Excellency, Most Reverend Dr. C.V.C. Onaga,