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FBN Holdings Plc. (“FBNH” or “FBNHoldings” or the “Group”) today announces its audited results for the financial year ended 31 December 2021.

 

As a financial service holding company, driving synergies remains a critical part of our strategy and has been integrated into every aspect of our delivery model. We pride ourselves in the uniqueness of our diversified portfolio and the collaborative ecosystem that we have built around our lines of business, our customers, and the unique value proposition that we deliver. We are also increasingly leveraging technology – artificial intelligence, robotics, and other next-generation technological advancements, to deepen collaboration and further drive operational efficiency across the Group.

 

Highlighting revenue and profitability, the Group delivered a stellar performance growing gross revenue by 28.2% to ₦757.3 billion and profit before tax by 99.1% to ₦166.7 billion. The 30.0% growth in loans and advances to ₦2.9 trillion and 16.2% growth in total asset to ₦8.9 trillion reaffirms our commitment to drive revenue and profitability as we complete the balance sheet clean-up.

 

In 2022, our strategic focus is on revenue generation through digital channels and retail product offerings, further driving our synergy potential as well as continuing to improve our operating model to deliver more efficiencies”.

 

Commenting on the results, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank Group said:

 

“Following years of strategic restructuring of the Bank’s balance sheet and operations, the Commercial Banking business is beginning to transition into a sustained growth phase delivering performance commensurate to the size of our business and capabilities of our people. Profit before tax is up 77.9%, gross earnings 30.3%, total assets 15.9% and customer deposits up 19.5%.

 

Gross earnings grew by 28.2% to ₦757.3 billion (Dec 2020: ₦590.7 billion). Interest income remained challenged given the moderated interest rate environment negatively impacting yields; as a result, interest income declined 4.1% to ₦369.0 billion (Dec 2020: ₦384.8 billion). To mitigate the effect of the low interest rate on investment securities and revenue generation, we remained deliberate with our intensified deposit mobilization and funding strategy to support enhanced loan growth at optimised rates leading to a 5.7% increase in interest expense to ₦140.8 billion (Dec 2020: ₦133.2 billion). As a result, net interest income declined by 9.3% to ₦228.2 billion (Dec 2020: ₦251.6 billion).

 

Conversely, non-interest revenue grew by 96.1% to ₦364.6 billion (Dec 2020: ₦185.9 billion) on the back of increased fees and commission income, treasury activities and other operating income. Additionally, and in line with our focus to further enhance our revenue generation capacity, First Pension Custodian Limited, a subsidiary of FBNHoldings’ flagship subsidiary, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, entered into a definitive agreement with Access Bank Plc for the planned acquisition of the entire share capital of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited held by Access Bank Plc.

 

This will further boost our market share in the industry, aid revenue diversification and support annuity income. Looking ahead, we will continue to create quality loans with focus on retail lending driven by technology as we continue to grow non-interest income to further diversify revenue.

 

In 2021, FBNH operated in a challenging operating environment that was pressured by high inflation and currency devaluation, the effect of which increased operating expenses by 14.2% to ₦334.2 billion (Dec 2020: ₦292.5 billion). However, this 14.2% is below the inflation level (Dec 2020: 15.6%) whilst regulatory cost also rose during the period, up 23.2% y-o-y. Despite the inflationary push factors, operating income grew 35.5% to ₦592.8 billion (Dec 2020: ₦437.6 billion), resulting in an improvement in cost to income ratio to 56.4% (Dec 2020: 66.8%). Going forward, we will sustain our focus towards further improving efficiency by containing cost and increasing revenue.

 

Deposit from Customers increased by 19.5% y-o-y to ₦5.9 trillion (Dec 2020: ₦4.9 trillion) reaffirming our strong market access and robust funding base. Our investment in agent banking, digitalisation and deployment of digital platforms which our customers have adopted, improved customer penetration and deepened our solid retail franchise. This continues to provide us with access to stable funding, reducing our cost of fund ratio to 2.1% (Dec 2020: 2.3%) while supporting the float of our current and savings account (CASA) at 91.2% (First Bank of Nigeria).

 

Total assets grew 16.2% y-o-y to ₦8.9trillion (Dec 2020: ₦7.7trillion) driven by a 30.0% y-o-y increase in customer loans and 26.3% increase y-o-y in investment securities. Cash and balances with Central Banks, loans to banks & customers and investment securities constitute 87.2% of total assets (Dec 2020: 83.4%).

 

We continue to record progress in Asset Quality and Risk Management stemming from our retooled and strengthened risk management architecture. On the back of this, non-performing loan ratio further declined to 6.1% (Dec 2020: 7.7%) while coverage ratio improved to 62.2% (Dec 2020: 48.0%).

 

With a cleaner balance sheet and resilient earnings generating capacity, FirstBank (Nigeria) was able to accrete capital buffers from organic earnings. Hence, despite the increase in loans and advances, Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) remained steady, marginally increasing to 17.4% (Dec 2020: 17.0%).

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Oriental Energy in 4m Dollar Debt Mess

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The Federal high court sitting in Lagos, south west Nigeria has adjourned till 28 of September,2022, when hearing will commence in a case of debt recovery of USD4,143,856.70 filed against Oriental Energy Resources Company by Borr International Operation drilling company,being an alleged outstanding approved and unpaid invoices for the drilling services rendered in accordance with Contract for the provision of Jack-Up Drilling Unit and Drilling Rig Services rendered in the Defendant’s Ebok Field in OML 67.

 

 

The drilling company in a suit filed by its lawyer, Barrister,Gabriel Uduafi is also praying the court for interest on US$ 4,143,856.70 million based on the current London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), one month interest rate increased by 5 percent and calculated pro data on a daily basis from 6th October, 2021, till the date of liquidation of the judgement debt.

 

In its statement of claim, the Plaintiff stated that by the relevant provisions of the contract, the Drilling Operations, which the Plaintiff was engaged to carry out was required to be done within the Firm Term of 120 days.

 

It stated that going by the relevant provisions of the Contract, there was no fixed-or set target that the Plaintiff was obligated to achieve, as the Contract was not a turnkey but a day rate’ contract; and to this effect, Clauses and Schedule of the Contract explicitly set out the various rates to include Operating Rate, Standby Rate, Repair Rate, . Force Majeure Rate, Redrill Rate, Moving Rate and Zero Kate.

 

The plaintiff stated that the Lump Sum payments under the contract are the Mobilization cost of $450,000 and the

Demobilization cost of $250,000, a sum Which become due and payable upon the completion of the contract.

 

However,following the default in making payment as stipulated under the Contract, the plaintiff wrote to the Defendant both by mail and letters, demanding for the payment of the outstanding and approved invoices and that the Defendant wrote replies raising issues and points that are completely alien to the Contract as its reason for not making the payment.

 

The Plaintiff contended that in setting up a completely ridiculous claim, the Defendant claimed spread cost for nonproductive time (NPT) in the total sum of US$3,437,500.00 where there is no provision in the Contract to support such claim.

 

The Plaintiff added that following series of engagement , it was compelled to instruct its lawyers to issue a demand for the payment of the invoices, and by a letter dated 19th January, 2022 the Plaintiffs Solicitors delivered a formal demand for the payment of some of the outstanding invoices in the sum of US$2,533,749.12 net of taxes.

 

Rather than simply honour its payment obligation under the Contract and credit the Plaintiff with the value of the invoices, the Defendant caused its Solicitors to reply the Plaintiff’s formal demand by the letter dated 26th January, 2022 by which the Defendant now seeks to claim the sum of $10,511,754.00 as spread cost for non-productive time (NPT) and consequential loss, as against the sum of US$3,437,500.00 initially set up by the Defendant in its earlier engagement with the Plaintiff.

 

The plaintiff added that in accordance with the provisions of the Contract, the same came to completion on 10th October, 2021 when the Plaintiff’s Drilling Unit left the Defendant’s Ebok Field OML 67.

 

Plaintiff avers that by the Completion Date, the lump sum Demobilization Rate of US$250,000 became due and payable.

The reasons given by the Defendant in refusing to honour its payment obligation under the Contract are flimsy, frivolous, vexatious and ultra vires, the provisions of the Contract between the Parties, and having approved the invoices, the defendant is obligated to make the payment within the stipulated 30 days under the Contract.

Consequently,excuses given by the Defendant in failing to honour its contractual obligations to the Plaintiff are simply provocative, as same are not supported or derived from the Contract.

The Plaintiff is being denied of the payment due to it in respect of the services rendered to the Defendant

as a result of which the Defendant is indebted to the Plaintiff to the tune of US$4,143,856.70 as stipulated under Clause 11.2 of the Contract.

It will be in the interest of justice to grant all the reliefs claimed in this suit adding that except the Court intervenes and grant the reliefs sought, the Defendant will continue to default in the payment of the invoices which have been duly approved for payment by the Plaintiff.

In its defence, Oriental Energy Resources Limited stated that the company is not indebted to the Plaintiff in the manner alleged in it’s claim or in any manner whatsoever as the invoices upon which the alleged debt purportedly arose are disputed by the defendant.

 

The Defendant stated that the Plaintiff misled it into agreeing to the mobilisation of the drilling rig to commence the contract, by fraudulently misrepresenting to the Defendant that its drilling rig, Borr Natt, was suitable for the Defendant’s Drilling Programme.

 

In an affidavit deposed to by Abraham Faga, a Well Engineering Manager in the Defendant company, he stated that the Defendant is not indebted to the Plaintiff in the way and manner alleged in its claim or in any way and manner whatsoever as the Defendant is disputing the invoices upon which the purported debt arose.

 

He averred that without the Plaintiff’s fraudulent misrepresentations, the Defendant would never have commenced the contract and approved mobilisation of the drilling unit, hence the issue of Plaintiff’s invoices which were issued within the contract would never have arisen.

 

He added that the Defendant would, be claiming for a refund of all payments it has so far made to the Plaintiff as the payments were fraudulently obtained.

 

He claimed that due to the Plaintiff’s fraudulent misrepresentation, the purported execution of the contract was completely appalling with non-productive time of over 25 days attributed to rig related repairs which is unprecedented in the industry for drilling operations.

 

He stated that the Plaintiff hastily commenced this suit under undefended list to mislead the court into believing that the Defendant has no defence to its claims.

 

The deponent further stated that Justice will be better served if the Defendant is allowed to defend the suit.

 

He urged the court to transfer the suit to Ordinary Cause List for a complete and holistic determination of all issues in controversy.

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WHO IS AFRAID OF “MONIMICHELLE”

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They are blackmailers! They are blackmailers!! These are the words of some close friends of Mr. Ebi Egbe alias Moni Love, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Monimichelle Sports Facility Construction Ltd.

 

Currently, the sports giant is handling some high profile jobs across, the globe for reputable clients who are enticed by the quality of service(s) provided by the firm.

 

The CEO of Monimichelle is an Ijaw son who is an indigene of Ogboinbiri in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa state.

Miffed by the near lack of development in the acclaimed “Jerusalem of Ijaw of Ijaw Nation”, Mr. Ebi Egbe abandoned his cosy office and accommodation at the eye-brow area of Ikoyi in Lagos to settle down in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital.

Why? Egbe said emphatically “I want to develop our place, because Yenagoa is our city”, adding that “I also want to give back to my state”.

 

This is the kind of passion, the Ajegunle born sports facility construction expert has for his native Ijaw Land, but of late some “elements” are bent on rubbishing his enviable reputation for a “plate porridge”.

Monimichelle Sports Facility Construction Limited is handling the Sampson Siasia football turf currently, and the job done so far has no doubt attracted commendation from across the globe.

 

In an event recently, the Bayelsa state Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson poured encomium, thus “We are proud of the quality of job done by Monimichelle because it is a world class pitch, am particularly happy because Monimichelle is an indigenous contractor who has made the Izon nation proud”.

 

It is worthy of note that the chairman of the Nigerian National League Mr. Chidi Okenwa during his facility tour of the pitch, commended Monimichelle for the “delivery” of the pitch.

 

According to him “I am happy to be here to see for myself because this is the best pitch in the country that the NNL teams can play in the session.

 

The NNL has approved a provisional permit for all Bayelsa based teams to play their home games at the Sampson Siasia turf, a development football fans are happy about.

This weekend the darling team of the state, Bayelsa United FC will be playing the first NNL game at the turf.

 

While plaudits are being poured on this worthy indigenous company some persons are busy putting spanners to work to drag the enviable name of the company and Mr. Ebi Egbe to the mud for their parochial and selfish reasons.

 

A close associate of Mr. Egbe, Mr. Ebizimor Numa who spoke to our correspondent on the development noted with dismay that “this pull-him-down” inclinations of some “disgruntled” elements cannot stand the test of time.

 

Numa added that “We know their antics; they cannot pull-down or destroy the enviable reputation of Monimichelle because the company has record unbeatable in Africa and the world over.

 

Speaking further he emphasized that “Monimichelle is not a politician who takes and not give back to the people, he is a business man who has given to his people and needs commendation and not condemnation as the blackmailers want people to believe.

 

Recently, a “fake” story was syndicated on some national dailies and online media platforms by some mischief makers with the intention to “hang the dog” by giving it a bad name.

 

The purported reports was said to have quoted respected Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) member, Dr. Peter Singabele as saying that the Sampson Siasia pitch was disapproved because it has some defects.

 

But Dr. Singabele has since come out to debunk the reports by saying he was quoted out of context , stressing that the said reports were skewed.

 

Now! The million dollar question is; who is afraid of Moni Love? A son of the soil who unlike other wealthy Bayelsans decided to give back over N150m sports facilities to the state for free.

 

According to Ebi Egbe who remained undaunted said “some wicked people are trying to pull me down but I believe Jesus will not allow them. I built my reputation over the years and am known all over the world”.

 

He admonished his Ijaw brothers and sisters to “stop this useless pull him down syndrome it will not help us as a people”, stressing further that “I have been in the sports management business for twenty-seven years now, and in sports construction for twelve years. With these records I am not a push -over in sports business”.

 

Mr. Ebi Egbe is a certified FIFA agent and one of the few FIFA licensed agents in Africa. Those “fighting” him are charlatans and busy body politicians who are jealous of his track records. They should know that one who points accusing finger at someone, the rest fingers are pointing at one. “Moni Love” deserves commendation.

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