CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT TO THE SHAREHOLDERS AT THE 5TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF ACCION MICROFINANCE BANK LIMITED HOLDING ON JUNE 10, 2011.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome you to the 5th Annual General Meeting of Accion Microfinance Bank Limited. I feel particularly honored to present to you our Bank’s Audited Financial Report for the year ended 2010, which indicates progress on key milestones despite the particularly complex operating environment within the year.
The year 2010 commenced with cautious expectation of gradual recovery of the global economy, following the economic crisis in 2008 and 2009. In Nigeria, the combined expectation that 2011 is an election year influenced the anticipation of increased economic activity. Whilst the banking sector began a gradual recovery process following the audit and bail out exercise of some commercial banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the microfinance industry also witnessed the revocation of the licenses of some microfinance banks by the Central Bank in September 2010. This development finally confirmed some of the concerns of industry experts regarding the financial health of some operators and the need for enhanced corporate governance, stable long term funding and prudent management in the micro finance sub-sector.
Notwithstanding the foregoing operating environment, your bank recorded significant progress in all key indices. Profit before tax grew by 42% from N106.6m in 2009 to N150.8m while savings deposits also grew by 45% from N204M to N295M.
The number of active savers and active borrowers grew by 45% and 19% respectively to 47,071 active savers and 9,473 active borrowers at the end of 2010. In our four years of operations, Accion Microfinance Bank has successfully disbursed over N6.5bn in loans to our customers, closing the year 2010 with an active loan portfolio of N1.091bn which is a growth of 28% from N850m, in 2009.
We remain true to our commitment of economically empowering the active poor in their quest for a brighter future. In furtherance of this commitment, Accion Microfinance Bank recently brought its unique services to the Mile 12/ Ketu axis with the location of a stand-alone branch at Ketu bringing the number of outlets to eleven (11).
This year, we collaborated with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in expanding our reach to the private health sector, through the USAID health guarantee loan scheme which expands opportunities for micro-enterprises in the private health sector industry to secure loans for purpose of improving family health care delivery in Nigeria.
In November, 2010, we moved our Head Office operations from Victoria Island to Elizade Plaza on the Anthony Village, Ikorodu road, axis of the Mainland to enable us be closer to our growing number of customers and enhance the quality service we offer.
We continue to focus on good corporate governance in all our processes, while strengthening our internal control procedure including our human resource capacity in this area. We have established a service culture that is focused on ensuring employees inculcate high ethical standards and deliver good quality services to our numerous customers at all times.
Outlook for 2011
Our major outlook for 2011 is growth-based, to take advantage of the huge demand for the products and services we offer. This includes setting up new branches in other parts of Lagos State including Surulere and Agege, while undertaking the upgrade of existing business units.
The microfinance industry may witness more changes when our regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria completes the review of regulatory framework of Microfinance Banks. Accion Microfinance Bank is positioned to explore opportunities that may arise in the industry within this context.
The current global move to electronic and mobile payments and financial services to serve the unbanked and under banked provides an opportunity for us to improve on our service delivery through technology. We will leverage on these alternative electronic channels to ensure that our customers have even easier access to good quality financial services through mobile payment solutions, POS devices, ATM and cards.
In concluding, I wish to express deep appreciation to our customers for their custom and confidence. My appreciation also goes to the Board, Management and staff of Accion Microfinance Bank for their commitment, dedication and hard work in building an institution for the long term. There is no doubt that with this continued dedication, the future is indeed bright for us and for our customers.