Sterling Bank Plc on Monday in Lagos reported a net interest income of N33.5 billion during the half-year ended June 30, 2020.
The bank Chief Executive Officer, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, said in a statement that this was against N30.4 billion recorded during the corresponding period of 2019, representing a growth of 10.1 per cent.
Suleiman said that the bank’s total assets also rose by 9.4 per cent to N1, 294.2 billion during the review period, from N1,182.7 billion in 2019, while customer deposits inched up by 2.5 per cent to N915.2 billion in 2020, from N892.7 billion in 2019.
The lender closed the half-year with a trading income of N3.9 billion, as against N1.2 billion for the corresponding period of 2019, representing a remarkable increase of 242.8 per cent.
Suleiman said that the bank’s impressive half-year performance in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic disruption belied the rough seas ahead.
He said that in the second quarter of the reporting period, the bank focussed on empowering its stakeholders to respond to the unprecedented disruption occasioned by prolonged restriction to movement, while supporting them to adapt to new ways of banking.
The bank chief executive officer said: “Our commitment to digitisation was validated, as we continued to serve existing and new customers through our mobile and digital platforms.
“We also responded to the uncertainty by doubling down on cost optimisation, while leveraging our existing remote work policy to keep our workforce productive without risking COVID-19 infection.
“Notwithstanding rising inflation, we were able to moderate operating expenses during H1 2020 to deliver a net profit, comparable to the first half of 2019.
“In the second half of the year, our focus remains the same; retooling our employees to function optimally, while observing social distancing, enhancing our execution capacity and enabling our customers to thrive in the middle of a pandemic.
“We will continue to focus on the sectors that are critical to the wellbeing of the economy, or as we call it, the HEART sectors namely: Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation.”
He said that the contracted gross earnings was primarily due to a dip in fees and commission as a result of a downward review of electronic banking fees.
Suleiman noted that though, interest income declined by 4.3 per cent, this was offset by an 18.1 decline in interest expense, thereby delivering a 130 bps drop in cost of funds and consequently, a 60-bps reduction in net interest margin.
He said: “In terms of asset quality, non-performing loan (NPL) ratio was flat at 2.1 per cent, while cost of risk went up by 140 bps to 2.1 per cent.
“The operating expenses declined by 0.1 per cent, achieved by moderating administrative expenses in spite of growth in other operating expenses including AMCON and insurance fees.
“The bank was able to maintain a strong capital and liquidity position of 15.2 per cent and 33.5 per cent respectively, above the regulatory benchmark.”
Suleiman noted that in overall, the bank delivered a profit after tax of N5.4 billion on gross earnings of N70.2 billion in the first half of 2020.
This, he said, was compared with a PAT of N5.7 billion on gross earnings of N72.3 billion during the corresponding period of 2019.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)https://nnn.ng/sterling-bank-reports-10-growth-in-half-year-net-interest-income/
Edo 2020: Voters observe social distancing
Voters in Gov. Godwin Obaseki’s polling unit, Oredo Ward 4, Emokpae Model Primary School, Benin City, were seen observing physical distancing, washing hands and wearing face masks to curtail the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
News Agency of Nigeria , reports that aside security check points provided at the centre of the community, residents moved around freely with their face masks.
Miss Esosa Igbinegin, a voter in Oredo Ward 1(unit 3), said that voters were observing the COVID-19 guidelines.
“Voting is going on well here and no issues at all.
“We are all on our face masks as directed,” she said.
Miss Ehi Osagie, another voter in Oredo Ward 1 (unit 3), said that security personnel were working hard to ensure a hitch-free election.
“Security teams are working well, voting is ongoing peacefully in this Ward,” she said.
Meanwhile, voters in Oredo Ward 12 with 6 units in Oba market were wearing face masks but not observing physical distancing.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Felix Ajide
Ember Months: FRSC urges motorists to drive patiently, apply controlled-speed
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has advised motorists to be patient and apply controlled-speed on the highways during this Ember-months period.
The FRSC Sector Commander in Enugu State, Mr Ogbonnaya Kalu, gave the advice while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Saturday.
NAN reports that the Ember-months included the months of September, October, November and December.
According to Kalu, the insinuation that blood sucking demons take over roads during Ember-months period is never true.
“It is human negative attitude that most times lead to increase in crashes and even deaths,’’ he said.
“The major causes of possible increase in road crashes in this period remained human impatient and negligence.
“The human deficiencies stem from impatience and anxiety to meet up personal or group target before the year runs out.
“With impatience and anxiety to meet up target; most motorists care less about other road users and even their own health and body system during this period.
“Another is the negligence of pushing out mechanically deficient vehicles during this time to make more money or returns even at the detriment of passengers and other road users as well,’’ he said.
The sector commander noted that due to the perceived human deficiencies leading to crashes; the command had already embarked on massive road safety education in parks, churches, mosques and public gatherings in the state.
According tp him, as the lead agency on road traffic management and safety; we are all out this season to ensure our people are educated and they are very cautious driving in the not friendly weathers such as rain and harmattan seasons during the Ember-months period.
“Our education also covers the need for motorists and transporters to adhere to the guidelines on COVID-19 prevention as far as vehicular movement of humans and goods are concerned,’’ he said.
He noted that the command would also carry out road audit; vehicular logistic repairs and maintenance for special end of the year and festive operation and improve on joint patrols with sister security agencies.
He said that the corps was determined to reduce crashes in the state to zero level at the end of the Ember Months this year.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
Edo Polls: Ize-Iyamu votes at Ugboko ward 4, commends conduct of Election
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Edo Governorship election on Saturday, Sept. 19 cast his vote at Ugboko ward 4, unit 26, Orhionmwon Local Government Council of the state at about 9: 25 a.m.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that Ize-Iyamu joined the queue at his polling unit located at Iguododo Primary school at about 9:20a.m. before casting his vote at about 9: 25a.m.
Speaking to journalists after exercising his franchise, Ize-Iyamu commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the peaceful and smooth electoral process.
“The process is good and going on smoothly; there is no thuggery and violence, the place is peaceful and calm.
“I am happy that INEC has a thermometer to check temperature and they also give out face masks to our people.
“We encourage our people to come out in batches so they can strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocols of social distances”.
He said he had not been able to get information about the conduct of the election across the state due to the poor network at his voting community.
He expressed optimism that he would emerge victorious in the election saying, “I am confident of victory across the 18 LGAs of the State”.
NAN reports that accreditation and voting commenced simultaneously at Ugboko ward 5, unit 26 at about 8: 46 a.m. amidst the presence of security personnel.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Maharazu Ahmed
Edo election: Presiding officers insist on no face masks, no voting
Presiding Officers in the Edo governorship election have said that no electorate will be allowed to vote without wearing a face mask in compliance with the COVID-19 safety protocols.
They also insist on adherence to social distancing as provided in the guidelines for the conduct of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Mr Oyesanmi Ezekiel, the presiding officer at Central Primary School, Iruekpen, told the eligible voters to wear face masks before voting in units 3, 4 and 5 at Iruekpen.
As part of efforts to ensure compliance with social distancing, Ezekiel marked out areas that the electorate could stand before being allowed to vote.
“The medicated spirit will be used to clean the card reader as well as fingers of each voters before voting,” he said.
The situation, however, was not the same at Ward 5 Uniit 2, where voters did not observe INEC guidelines on social distancing for the poll.
But in Emaudo Ward 4, Unit 14, Esan West Local Government, both voters and INEC officials complied with the protocols.
Hawkers of face masks used the no face masks no voting to make quick money across the various polling units visited.
The face masks sellers who sell each mask for N100, witnessed high patronage from voters who came without one.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Kayode Olaitan