Chairman's Statement at the 2014 AGM

Chairman's Statement at the 2014 AGM

Your Excellency, Most Reverend Dr. C.V.C Onaga,
Bishop of the Catholic Diocese 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.

It is my singular honour to welcome you to the two fold event of the 19th Annual General Meeting and Twentieth Foundation Anniversary of our bank, the Umuchinemere Pro-Credit Micro Finance Bank; a bank with very humble beginning, a bank foundation as a pastoral response of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu to the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching and Encyclical Letter of the Blessed Pope Paul IV "Populorum Progression" (on the development of people,1969), a bank founded on the principle of Faith and Reason, Theory and Action, Belief and Reality and a bank which touched positively on thousands of families, individuals and livelihoods in Enugu State and Beyond the horizons of our State.

Twenty years ago, precisely on the 22nd of July 1995, Most Reverend Michael Ugwu Eneje (RIP), the very humble, simple, hardworking, exemplary, beloved and holy servant of God and the then Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu with the entire people of God gathered at the aula of the Catholic Institute for Development, Justice, Peace and Caritas (CIDJAP) and in the presence of the then Military Administrator of Enugu State, Col Mike Lucky Torrey (RIP) with his entire officials of government officially declared the Umuchinemere Bank, then licensed as a Community Bank open.

On that historical day, 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, all Diocesan priests, Religious and Lay faithful in attendance. The euphoria and importance of the event continues to resonate as we gather today, the 4th day of September 2015 to narrate the past as present.

Under the dynamic leadership of Chief Sir Gabriel Akachukwu as the Chairman of the bank and Mr. John Nnam as the Manager, the bank kicked off operation as a unit bank with staff strength of six, a capital base of Five million naira, well above the two hundred and fifty thousand naira required by the community Banking regulation at that time. Today, we joyfully announce that staff strength of the bank has risen to one hundred and twenty four, excluding thirty-eight out sourced staff and thirteen students on Industrial training. Its paid up shares has sky rocketed to Three hundred and twenty six million, while its asset base is almost Three billion naira. It is the desire of the Founding Fathers of our bank that it should 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. In furtherance of this aspiration, the bank has established its presence in the Enugu Urban and in rural areas and now operates six branches and fourteen Customer Relations Officers. Through these outlets, our bank has impacted on the progress of individuals, groups, organizations and institutions in their overall search for a meaningful means of and resources for existence.

Umuchinemere bank, re-modeled as a Micro Financial Bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2007, has attained the status of a state Micro Finance Bank and is assiduously working towards becoming a National Micro Finance Bank Due to Umuchinemere bank's reliability, credibility and service efficiency, the CBN has continued to repose confidence in our bank as one of the top ten banks in Nigeria according to their own grading. Recently, Umuchinemere bank was nominated by the CBN to partner with it in its Micro Small Medium Enterprise (MSME) Loan Scheme and its Housing Micro Finance Project. It is the work of the Lord, and a marvel in our eyes. Ladies and gentle men, as we thank God for bringing us thus far, may I present to you the Financial Statement of our bank for the year ended 2014.

The global struggle to reduce poverty by fifty percent by year 2015 in line with the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals met a lot of challenges within the period, mostly in the forms of nations' political unrest, insurgencies, poor long term economic planning, natural and manmade disasters. These impacts negatively on the economics of nations. The fluctuation in the international foreign exchange rate is a tip of an iceberg of the devastating ripple effects of these factors on nations' economies. In a nutshell, the global environment was generally undetermined and unfriendly.

The social-economic environment in Nigeria within the period was not different from what existed in the global arena. The incessant terrorist attacks by Boko Haram sect with all its attendant challenges and the euphoria of political rallies terrorist attacks by the Boko Haram sect with all its attendant challenges and the euphoria of political rallies/campaigns geared towards the 2015 presidential and Gubernationorial elections protracted the economic plans of the nation. It was a year of coming to terms with the reality of the harsh descent in the oil price and the consequences thereof, a year of innovations and reforms in Nigeria's financial sector.

The Federal Government in that year issued Ninety billion naira bond with three years and ten years maturities of Forty-five billion naira apiece (maturing in August 2016 and March 2024) respectively, using the Dutch Auction System and selling at One thousand naira per unit and subject to a minimum subscription of Ten thousand naira. The CBN always at the fore front of strengthening financial stability in the financial sector rolled out directives to ensure that Nigerian banks and other financial institution apply fraud free and sustainability principles in their operations. For instance, it reviewed the guidelines on International money transfer which barred Deposit Money Banks from operating as International money transfer service providers but only as agents with the express approval of the CBN, it subsequently issued guidelines for the operations of inbound and outbound international money transfer services in Nigeria.

It equally commenced a pilot test of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) project in conjunction with the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) and also issued a November 2014 deadline for all Deposit money banks to comply with the global standard for securing electronic payment system transaction, otherwise called Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS). The long debated Cashless policy took total effect in the year. The year equally recorded CBN's approval of the liquidation of eighty-three micro finance banks for allegedly engaging in fraudulent activities and having no operational offices. In the face of all these, Umuchinemere Bank remained afloat and made laudable progress as indicated by verifiable indices.

The total assets of the bank increased from ₦2.099 billion in 2013 to ₦2.557 billion in 2014. A breakdown of the assets showed that Loans and Advances increased from ₦573.8 million in 2013 to ₦735.6 million in 2014 thereby indicating a 28% increase. Other assets recorded an increase of 62% from ₦80.2 million in 2013 to ₦129.6 million in 2014, while fixed assets rose by 11% from ₦92.8 million in 2013 to ₦102.9 million in 2014. Other Liabilities showed an increase of 23% from ₦23.3 million in 2013 to ₦28.5 million in 2014. Dividend payable increased from ₦67.3 million in 2013 to ₦75.9 million in 2014. Paid-up Capital increased by 8% from ₦300.5 million in 2013 to ₦324.7 million in 2014, while share premium increased by 7% from ₦18.3 million in 2013 to ₦19.6 million in 2014. Statutory reserves indicated increase by 31% from ₦217.1 million in 2013 to ₦284.1 million in 2014. The total Shareholders fund increased from ₦599.6 million in 2013 to ₦707.1 million in 2014. Profit before tax increased from ₦83.1 million in 2013 to ₦140.5 million 2014 while profit after tax increased from ₦79.1 million in year 2013 to ₦134 million in 2014. Earnings per share increased from 26k in 2013 to 41k in 2014, while dividend per share increased from 15k in 2013 to 16k in 2014.

There was no change in the composition of Board during the period under review. The seven members are Msgr. Dr. Anthony Anijielo, Rev. Fr. Dr. Geoffery Aguigwo, Rev. Fr. Dr. Anthony Igwe, Dr. Ngozi Agu, Chief Sir. Gilbert Obu, Mrs. Nnenna Ekete and my humble self as Chairman of the Board. His Royal Highness, Igwe R. C. Ani and Lady Eucharia Enebe sit in attendance, while Rev. Sir. Barr. Benedicta Odoh is still the company Secretary and Legal Adviser of the Bank. As usual, Board members worked assiduously, with unequalled dedication and integrity. The commitment to their oversight functions in there spective Board committees was nothing short of excellence, thus affirming the excellent corporate governance rating given by the CBN to the Board during its last supervisory visit to the bank.

At the Management level, there were no new changes either. Membership of the Core Management team companies:
1. Mrs. Ekete Nnenna M. - Managing Director
2. Mr. Ozor Charles C. - Assistant General Manager and Head of Operations
3. Mr. Ezeagu Cyprain - Senior Manager, Head Internal Audit
4. Mr. Okeke Odinaka - Senior Manager, Head 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:
It is worthy of note that although here were no changes in the other Management staff cadre during the period under review, slight changes were recently made to meet the exigencies of the moment:
1. Mr. Iheanacho Charles - Regional Manager, Abakpa Branch
2. Mr. Umeh John - Regional Manager, 9th Mile Branch
3. Mr. Arum Emeka - Branch Manager, Main Branch
4. Mrs. Pauline-Godwin Ike - Branch Manager, Garriki Branch
5. Mr. Fabian Ozoana - Branch Manager, Godfery Okoye University Branch
6. Mrs. Nneka Omulu - Branch Manager, Agbani Branch
7. Mr. Alex Achu - Marketing Officer
8. Engr. Gloria Uzodi - Head ICT
9. Sir. Anueyiagu Abuchi - Head, Public/Media Relations Unit

In with Umuchinemere bank's mission of fostering integral human development, the bank relentlessly organizes training, retreats and workshops for members of the Board and staff. In the present year, precisely in March, the Board Staff shared from the wealth of experience of a consultant from pax bank, Cologne, Germany in the person of Mr. Andreas Machnik, who facilitated a Board and Management retreat for the bank. Board has also given its approval for oversea training for the Head, Human Resources, Head, Internal Audit and the Head, ICT. Many of our staff are currently undergoing the CBN Micro finance Certification programme and pursuing various academic degrees relevant to their areas of specialization.

Having come thus far within these twenty years, the bank is poised to attain greater heights by the grace of almighty God. The bank intends to contribute maximally to the enhancement of agriculture, commerce and would therefore increase disbursement of Loans and Advances to qualified individuals, groups and institutions, especially to the active poor. Already, the bank has disbursed over N140 million to 447 clients under the CBN/Enugu state Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Fund Scheme and was awarded the 2nd position by the CBN among the participating Micro Finance Banks in the CBN Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme in Enugu state.

It is also the intension of the bank to face squarely, its greatest challenge of non-repayment of loans by loan clients as at when due. Aggressive loan recovery efforts have commenced with Board's constitution of a credit Monitoring and Evaluation Team made up of bank staff, employment of a legal officer and engagement of the services of more dept recovery agents. These efforts are already yielding positive results.

Having successful opened a customer meeting point at Ozalla in the preceding year, and at Ibegwa Nike and College of Immaculate Conception this year, bank shall in the line with its rural empowerment scheme open up more meeting points and so, entrench banking at the grassroots and provide employment for the teeming population of our jobless youths.

Bank is open to and will continue to partner with well meaning individuals, organizations and institutions in the fight to eradicated poverty in our society and to give meaning to the lives and existence of thousands of children, youth and aged, rich and poor, employed and unemployed, Entrepreneurs and corporate entities. Present it has responded positively to CBN's invitation to partner with it in the CBN Housing Micro Finance Project and will do all that is required in furtherance of the partnership. In order to enhance our service delivery to our customers in the face of the existing cashless policy, the bank has concluded arrangements for installation of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and the use of prepaid cards for transactions in our back.

On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of our bank, I earnestly thank you our esteemed shareholders whose support, goodwill and trust has continued to spur us on. Our bank would not have been able to achieve so much without you. I thank especially His Lordship Most Rev. Dr. C.V. C. Onaga under whose leadership the Catholic Diocese of Enugu became the principal shareholder of our bank and has continued to give maximum support to our endeavors. In the same vein, I also thank thee priests, Religious, Laity of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu and our valued customers for their patronage. I must not fail to appreciate my fellow Board members for their sacrifice and commitment to the course of the bank. I also thank our staff for their loyalty and hard work. Finally, to God who can infinitely do whatever we ask for or even imagine, by means of his power working in us be praise and glory forever. Amen


Msgr. Obiora Ike

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