By Goddy Egene, 05.06.2010
The Chairman of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), Owelle Gilbert Chikelu and three other non-executive directors that have spent 12 years on the board of the bank have retired in compliance with code of corporate governance for banks that restrict tenure of non-directors of bank to 12 years.
While Mr. Victor Osibodu, Alhaji Mohammed Jada, and Mr. Akindele Akintoye left the bank before 20th Annual General Meeting that was held in Lagos yesterday, Chikelu will cease to be a director as from today.Although the code by CBN has been in force since 2006, banks have not been adopting it. But apparently in pursuance of its aspiration to be a leader in every ramifications of the financial services sector, GTBank was said to have formerly informed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of the retiring directors and their replacement with new ones.
The new non-executive directors are Mr. Bode Agusto, Mrs. Stella Okoli, Mr. Bayo Adeola and Mr. Ibrahim Hassan while a former Deputy Governor of CBN, Mr. Oluwole Oduyemi is the new chairman of the bank.Speaking at the AGM yesterday, Chikelu said as a good corporate citizen, the bank would always comply with directives of regulators and continue to deliver impressive results for the benefit of all stakeholders.Reviewing the performance of the bank, he said that strong fidelity to the bank’s corporate vision, superb execution capabilities added to the support of investors created a credible and powerful platform for the bank’s sustained growth and outstanding financial performance.
He said: “Our gross earnings grew from N151.70 billion recorded in previous year to N162.55 billion, while profit before tax stood at N27.96 billion. Strict stipulations mandated by the CBN temporarily eroded our profit margin, effectively translating to an additional N29.71 billion provision in the review period. Also, total assets plus contingents grew by five per cent from N1.33 trillion to N1.4 trillion, while shareholders’ funds stood at N187.10 billion as at December 31, 2009.”Looking ahead, Chikelu said that GTBank will continue to focus on its core business and significantly seek creative avenues to meet and surpass the demands of rising clientele, just as the bank would seek to expand into new frontiers, especially into Francophone West Africa.
The directors recommended a dividend of 75 kobo - the highest so far in the industry, and bonus of one new share for every four shares already held.In his comments, the Managing Director/Chief Executive of GTBank, Mr. Tayo Aderinokun assured investors that the bank would continue with its policy of dividend payment and bonus issue.