One of the crucial roles of an organisation’s leadership is the management of its human capital. This is because the people who work for an organisation are responsible for producing economic value and ultimately building the wealth of shareholders.
In 2022, the banking sector was one of the few sectors that experienced remarkable profitability. Despite the retrenchment of workers and the cut in employee-related expenses in the Nigerian corporate space in the same year, most of the listed banks surveyed by BusinessDay were able to increase their personnel costs.
According to BusinessDay’s survey, companies with the highest personnel costs include Ecobank Transnational, Access Holdings, FBN Holdings, United Bank for Africa, Zenith Bank, Nigerian Breweries, Stanbic IBTC, MTN Nigeria, Guinness Nigeria, First City Monument Bank and Guaranty Trust Holding Company.
BusinessDay analysis revealed that these firms’ personnel expenses stood at an aggregate of N252 billion in the first quarter of 2023, an 18.3 percent increase from N212.97 billion in the first quarter of 2022.
The personnel expenses encompass all of a company’s expenditures in relation to staff remuneration and welfare within a specific financial reporting period.
In other words, such expenses may include salaries/wages, other benefits like health insurance costs, pension, and training, amongst others.
Ecobank Transnational took the front row as the first of the top 10 highest-paying companies in Nigeria.
The transnational company recorded N54.83 billion in personnel costs in the first quarter of 2023, 16.9 percent increase from N46.9 billion in the same quarter of 2022.
Access Holdings ranked in second place as one of the top 10 highest-paying companies in Nigeria.
The holding company recorded N33.57 billion in personnel expenses in the first quarter of 2023, up 14.8 percent from N29.25 billion in the first quarter of 2022.
Herbert Wigwe leads Access Holding as the chief executive officer, he is a Nigerian banker and entrepreneur. He served as the chairman of Access Bank Ghana Limited, Access Investment & Securities Limited, and Central Securities and Clearing System.
FBN Holdings ranked in third place as one of the top 10 highest-paying companies in Nigeria.
The holding company’s personnel expenses stood at N31.3 billion in the first quarter of 2023, up 22.2 percent from N25.62 billion in the first quarter of 2023.
Nnamdi Okonkwo leads FBN Holdings as the group managing director, his work experience spans over 32 years of local and international banking.
United Bank for Africa (UBA)
United Bank for Africa ranked fourth place as one of the top 10 highest-paying companies in Nigeria.
UBA’s employee benefit expenses rose to N31.26 billion in the first quarter of 2023, a 22.2 percent increase from N25.58 billion in the first quarter of 2022.
Abiola Bawuah leads UBA as chief executive officer, she joins the group board as an executive director, overseeing the group’s operations across the African continent, outside Nigeria.
Prior to her appointment, Bawuah was regional CEO, West Africa, supervising the group’s operations in nine subsidiaries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. She previously held the role of CEO, UBA Ghana.
Zenith Bank ranked fifth place as one of the top 10 highest-paying companies in Nigeria.
The bank’s personnel expenses grew to N23.17 billion in the first quarter of 2023, 7.6 percent increase from N21.54 billion in the first quarter of 2022.
Ebenezer Onyeagwu leads Zenith Bank as group managing director/chief executive officer. He is a seasoned banker and a financial strategist with over three decades of banking experience.
Before joining Zenith Bank Plc, he worked at Citizens International Bank Limited between 1991 and 2002. He joined Zenith Bank Plc in 2002 as a senior manager in the internal control and audit group of the bank.
Nigerian Breweries ranked sixth place as one of the top 10 highest-paying companies in Nigeria.
The brewery spent N18.9 billion on employee benefits in the first quarter of 2023, a 40 percent increase from N13.51 billion in the first quarter of 2022.
Hans Essaadi leads Nigerian Breweries as chief executive officer/ managing director. He joined the Heineken N.V. Group in 1991 as a sales representative and subsequently took up increasingly senior roles within the group in sales, export and marketing.
Until his appointment to his current position in Nigerian Breweries, Essaadi was the managing director of Al Haram Beverages, the Heineken Operating Company in Egypt.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings
Stanbic IBTC Holdings ranked seventh place as one of the top 10 highest-paying companies in Nigeria.
The holding company’s staff cost amounted to N13.98 billion in the first quarter of 2023, 13 percent increase from N12.38 billion in the first quarter of 2022.
Wole Adeniyi leads Stanbic IBTC Holdings as chief executive officer, he has over 25 years of experience in banking operations, process management and business support within the financial services industry.
Adeniyi previously served as deputy chief executive officer at Stanbic IBTC Bank; head, country operations for the former Stanbic Bank Nigeria Limited in 2003.
MTN Nigeria and Guinness Nigeria
MTN Nigeria and Guinness Nigeria ranked eighth place as one of the top 10 highest-paying companies in Nigeria with N12.1 billion in employee costs in the first quarter of 2023.
MTN Nigeria’s employee cost stood at N12.1 billion, 10 percent increase from N11 billion while Guinness personnel expenses amounted to N12.1 billion, 24 percent increase from N9.76 billion in the period reviewed.
Karl Toriola leads MTN Nigeria as the chief executive officer, he joined MTN Nigeria as chief technical officer in 2006 before holding various positions across the MTN Group.
Toriola has over 24 years of experience from serving at MTN Group, WECA region; MTN Cameroon and before life in MTN, Vmobile Nigeria; Ericsson Nigeria & AG Switzerland.
John Musungu leads Guinness Nigeria as the managing director/chief executive officer. Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer. Musungu has experience within the consumer goods industry, having previously held leadership roles across commercial, sales and marketing positions in GlaxoSmithKline Plc within Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Eastern Europe.
First City Monument Bank (FCMB)
First City Monument Bank ranked ninth place as one of the top 10 highest-paying companies in Nigeria.
FCMB’s personnel cost stood at N10.4 billion in the first quarter of 2023 from N7.61 billion in the first quarter of 2022.
Yemisi Edun leads FCMB as managing director, she was appointed managing director of the bank following CBN approval effective May 1, 2021.
She began her career with Akintola Williams Deloitte (member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu) in 1987 with a focus on corporate finance activities as well as audits of banks and other financial institutions. She later joined FCMB in 2000 as divisional head of internal audit and control before assuming the role of chief financial officer of the bank.
Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO)
Guaranty Trust Holding Company ranked tenth place as one of the top 10 highest-paying companies in Nigeria.
The holding company personnel expenses rose to N10.39 billion in the first quarter of 2023 5.8 percent increase from N9.82 billion in the first quarter of 2022.
Segun Agbaje leads Guaranty Trust Holding Company as group chief executive officer. He currently serves on the boards of GTBank (Ghana) Limited, GTBank (UK) Limited, GTBank (Kenya) Limited, and GTBank (Tanzania) Limited.
Agbaje started his career in 1988 as an auditor at Ernst & Young, USA. He subsequently joined GTBank as a pioneer staff in 1991 and rose through the ranks to become executive director in 2000 and deputy managing director in 2002.