• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

DBN pays out N3.5bn to shareholders

DBN, OEAHD empower over 200 women in North East

The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) has paid out N3.5 billion dividend to its shareholders comprising the African Development Bank (AfDB); European Investment Bank; Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

The dividend payout declared and approved by the shareholders at the bank’s 7th annual general meeting in Abuja on Tuesday translates to N32.70k per share held. The dividend is also the second in a row that the bank – which is Nigeria’s foremost Wholesale Financial Institution – will be paying dividend since commencing operations in 2017.

Speaking at the meeting, Tony Okpanachi, managing director/CEO of DBN, said this translates to 25 percent of the bank’s distributable profits and aligns with its dividend payment philosophy.

“We are happy because this is the second year in a row that we are declaring and paying dividend to our shareholders which translates to about N3.5 billion.”

Okpanachi disclosed that since its commencement of business operations in 2017, DBN has disbursed about N786 billion in loans to 494,819 MSMEs across the country, a commendable 24 percent growth in support from the N631billion and a 58 percent increase from the 313,000 MSMES impacted in the preceding year.

N187billion of those disbursements in 2023 went to 356,451 women-owned businesses and N81billion to 120,326 youth-owned businesses, reinforcing the bank’s commitment to financing underserved MSME market segments. This, Okpanachi said resulted in the creation of about 1.2 million jobs by the end of 2023 and 1.5 million jobs to date.

According to him, the commitment to support the federal government’s priority sectors is evident in the bank’s disbursements – about N74 billion of total loans were allocated to the manufacturing sector, benefitting 3,696 end-borrowers. Furthermore, N38 billion was directed to agriculture, reaching 8,163 end-borrowers.

“These strategic investments underscore the bank’s drive to grow sectors vital to the nation’s economic development,” he told the shareholders.

Okpanachi also mentioned that the strategic delivery of technical assistance activities to the Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) which work with the bank has also been a cornerstone of the commitment to enhancing their capabilities.

Additionally, the bank took a step forward to provide direct technical assistance and capacity building to 1,121 MSMEs from financially excluded groups in the North East and North West Regions, which according to the MD, focused on building business management skills and capacity to take advantage of identified business opportunities; and provide business support services as required.

Sustainability remains at the core of the bank’s values, as it pushes to grow its green portfolio, which witnessed a substantial increase to N6 billion in 2023.

“This growth is particularly noteworthy as it signifies a dedicated commitment to environmentally responsible investments, aligning with global sustainability goals,” he noted.

In terms of expanding its funding base, DBN launched its inaugural N20bn bond last year as part of its N100 billion bond series and was oversubscribed to the tune of N23 billion.

Okpanachi hinted that the bank would return to the market but when the dynamics are right, but did not specify timelines in that regard.

“Our bond has been performing very well, the indication we are seeing is that the market still wants us to come back for another round of fundraising.

“We look forward to another opportunity to return to the market because the SMEs require a lot of additional funding, but we will look at the market dynamics, when the conditions are ripe and there’s need and urgency for funding, we will go back,” he stated.

He also mentioned that the bank has so far recorded zero Non-performing loans, and attributed the feat to the partnering financial institutions, and the bank’s lending practices, among others.

Also speaking at the meeting, Shehu Yahaya, chairman, DBN, regretted that Nigerian MSMEs encounter numerous obstacles which impede their growth and sustainability, particularly limited access to finance.

He, however, acknowledged government efforts at implementing a series of substantial measures to bolster support to them p, including the FGN- ALAT Digital Skill-Novation Programme, designed to provide training to two million youths and empower one million MSMEs, among other initiatives.