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Diamond Bank Half Yr Record Shows Stable Growth

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The Half-year 2016 performance scorecard of Diamond Bank Plc was released on Thursday on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), showcasing considerable growth in key financial parameters. Analysts and industry watchers had, because of the harsh macroeconomic outlook, forecasted sluggish growth and greyed result for the period, but the interim report and accounts of the bank for the first six months of the year surpassed industry expectations as total comprehensive income rose by 13.3 per cent year on year to N16.3 billion as against N14.4 billion recorded in comparable period of 2015.

Non-interest income surged by 33.4% to N26.5 billion, reflecting the successful efforts targeted at improving this income line and also the focused strategy of management, which were sharpened at improving digital functionality and widening financial inclusion. Profit Before Tax (PBT) remained modest and stable at N10.5 billion while Profit After Tax (PAT) stood at N9.1 billion, thus meeting shareholders’ expectation for the period under review and showcasing the strategic strength of the management creatively configured to surmount the turbulent macroeconomic environment and the tough regulatory framework facing the financial services sub-sector. The Bank improved on its credit creation by 28.6 per cent as loans and advances to customers grew from N763.6 billion in the same period last business year to N982.3 billion.

Also, loans to other banks jumped by 30.7 per cent to N78.5 billion in H1 2016 from N60.1 billion in the corresponding period last year, while its retail customers grew to over 13 million with 7 million of these opening accounts in the last 2 years. Also, the Banks digital leadership in the financial services sub-sector gained ascendency as its Diamond Mobile Apps usage increased from 1.6 million to 5.1 million while volume increased from 1.3 billion to 5.5 billion year on year. The Bank sustained a strong top line growth with the asset base surging to N1.970 trillion from N1.753 trillion in the same period last year, representing 12.4 per cent increase.

Commenting on the Bank’s H1 performance, Uzoma Dozie, Chief Executive Officer stated that despite the economic headwind, the Bank would remain resilient and sustain the positive growth throughout H2. According to him, the Bank’s strong liquidity and capital adequacy ratios plus its digital transformation have rightly positioned it to meet customer obligations and offer service deliveries that are beyond banking. He said:

“With the domestic economy contracting, the Nigerian banking industry has faced a number of challenges over the last six months. Nevertheless, in the first half of 2016, we have remained resilient in weathering these headwinds and there are real bright spots in our income streams, as well as noteworthy cost reduction, which gives us confidence going into the second half of the year. Due to actions taken and an ongoing prudent approach, our regulatory capital remains strong. This position of strength helped offset the one-off impact of the recent devaluation of the naira, as acknowledged by Fitch Ratings when they affirmed our B rating with a stable outlook. Liquidity of the bank also remains high and is well above the guidance ratio stipulated by CBN. Although year on year impairment charge grew by 45.6 per cent to N19.0 billion, reflecting the Bank’s continuation of prudent provisioning, which is aimed at strengthening performance in the years ahead; its operating costs and interest expense are shrunk by 10.7% and 27.5% respectively compared to H1 2015, reflecting success of the cost control initiative and low cost depositstrategy.

Speaking further, Dozie stated that despite the catalogue of challenges facing the sub-sector, which were exacerbated by the recent devaluation of the naira and foreign exchange scarcity, culminating in backlog of unpaid salaries and wages for individuals, Diamond Bank has continued a diligent implementation of its focus on curtailing cost. According to him, this has resulted in 10.7% reduction in operating expenses and 3.8% drop in employee benefit expenses for the period under review. The Bank also integrated further its retail offering and the supporting infrastructure with the opportunities created by its value chain marketing approach in the corporate and business banking segments. “In the last few months, evidence has shown that the new strategy and initiatives to curtail costs are proving successful and are reflected in the bank’s financial indicators.

This is reassuring. Year on year, costs came in lower and as we conclude the organizational restructure, we expect to harvest more savings from operational and employee expenses. The primary benefits of this however are the resources that we have freed up to provide improved services to customers. Having done this, we are optimistic that the Bank is in the right markets and has the wherewithal to excel and create value for shareholders in the long run,” stated Dozie. Diamond Bank Plc began as a private limited liability company on March 21, 1991 (the company was incorporated on December 20, 1990). Ten years later, in February 2001, it became a universal bank. In January 2005, following a highly successful Private Placement share offer which substantially raised the Bank’s equity base, Diamond Bank became a public limited company.

In May 2005, the Bank was listed on The Nigerian Stock Exchange. Today, Diamond Bank is the fastest growing retail bank in Nigeria with a track record of high quality banking solutions for customers. It’s the lead driver of financial inclusion and enhanced customer experience through innovation and technology. Regarded as supporter of lifestyle trends, it mobile banking app, “Diamond Mobile” currently has over 1 million active subscribers on its platform. Diamond Bank has over the years leveraged on its underlying resilience to grow its asset base and to successfully retain its key business relationships. It has also played a leading role in partnering with domestic and International bodies such as Women’s World Banking, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, MTN etc. to create easy access to financial services for the unbanked.

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Aviation

Passengers Commend Integrity, Professionalism of Dana Air Security Team

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Passengers have commended the integrity and professionalism demonstrated by the Dana Air security team on discovery of valuable items forgotten onboard its aircraft

The airline in a statement issued by its Media and Communications Manager, Kingsley Ezenwa said, ‘we are not surprised by the recent commendations that our security team has been getting on their constant display of integrity and professionalism on and off the job.

‘’There have been many cases of lost and recovered items like phones, ipads, huge sums of money, Nigerian passports with valid visas and lots of valuable items. We have also returned a lot of missing foreign and Nigerian passports to the immigration, embassies and even sometimes call the owners in the cases where we are able to track the passenger’s booking with authentic details. This is also one of the reasons we advise passengers to enter their correct details when booking.’’

Recently, a passenger on one of our flight from Abuja to Lagos left a bag containing $5,000 and some other valuables. On getting to Victoria Island, he noticed he wasn’t with the bag and dashed back to the airport, met the security team who confirmed the item was found. He proved ownership of the item; completed necessarily documents and got his missing item back immediately.

He thanked the security team for displaying a high level of integrity and professionalism in handling an issue that involved hard currency. He also appreciated the staff for proving all the negative things they hear about Nigerians wrong.

Another passenger, Musa Anasemi, who forgot a Nigerian passport with a valid US visa, said he didn’t have an idea where he left the passport, but after about nine days, he decided to check with us. He got his passport with gratitude and praises for the airline and the security staff that found the item and declared it.

We carry out our due diligence in recruitment across board and have invested heavily in training and retraining of staff. We also try our best to keep staff happy in our little way and these are the results.

We are also glad that our staffs have been able to prove to the world that some of the things they hear about us around the world are actually not true. The safety, comfort and well-being of our guests will remain a top priority and we will continue to keep the flag flying.’’

In 2018, Dana Air had 34 of its air passengers’ luggage missing with 32 of them recovered between January and December of same year according to a report obtained from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

The airline’s security team have been commended for not only displaying integrity but for foiling series of security threats to its aircraft.

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Dana Air Begins Owerri-Abuja flights May 1

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As part of its strategic route expansion drive across Nigeria, Dana Air has announced plans to introduce Owerri- Abuja –Owerri flights on May 1

”We are greatly delighted to introduce an additional flight on our Owerri route, connecting Owerri to Abuja and back, said Kingsley Ezenwa, Dana Air’s Media and Communications Manager. ‘’ This is part of our commitment towards providing dependable options for the good people of Imo state and ensuring seamless travel for business and leisure travelers.’’

Speaking further, Kingsley said, the airline which currently operates over 27 daily flights from Lagos to Abuja, Port Harcourt, Uyo, and Owerri, will operate flights from the Sam Mbakwe International Airport, Owerri to Abuja and back on Mondays to Fridays and Sundays.

‘’From May 1, 2018, we will operate one flight from Owerri to Abuja on Mondays to Fridays at 12.33pm and Abuja to Owerri at 2.16pm. On Sundays, Owerri to Abuja flights will be at 5.31pm and Abuja to Owerri at 12.06pm.’’

​He noted that the airline had to create a flight from Owerri to Abuja as a result of the overwhelming calls from its guests, who had enjoyed its uninterrupted schedule and on-time departures from Lagos to Owerri and assured guests of the airline’s commitment towards providing a reliable and affordable service across its route network.

He advised the airline’s customers to visit its website www.flydanaair.com or any of its sales outlets  at Imo Condorde Hotel in Owerri, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Silverbird Galleria in Lagos and all other airport sales desk  for fares as low as 18,000 one way and 45,000 business class tickets.

​Dana Air, after a thorough audit conducted by the Imo state government in 2017, was selected for an airline partnership as part of the Government’s commitment towards providing career and job opportunities for indigenes of the state, and affordable fares to boost leisure and business travel to and around the state. ​

 

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Aviation

President Buhari To Flag World Aviation Forum

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www.securenigeria365.com

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to attend the opening ceremony of the World Aviation Forum, and flag off the event.

This was contained in a statement issued today by the Deputy Director of Press and Public Affairs, Federal Ministry of Aviation, Mr James Odaudu.

According to the statement, the President’s presence was to emphasise the importance attached to the consideration of Nigeria’s emergence as the first country to host the annual event organised by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The three-day event, which holds from November 20 – 22 in Abuja, will be the first to be held outside the ICAO Headquarters in Montreal, Canada. It also underscores Nigeria’s rising profile within the aviation world.

Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said Nigeria’s hosting of the ICAO World Aviation Forum, coming so soon after the country hosted the ICAO Symposium on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), is a clear indication of the confidence the Buhari administration has elicited within the sector, and an endorsement by the world body of its reform programmes for the nation’s aviation industry.

“The third ICAO World Aviation Forum, which is intended to explore the benefits of the aviation sector to social, economic development and prosperity of member states, is aimed at top-ranking government officials in charge of aviation, transport and infrastructure, finance, economy and tourism; and key industry and financial partners.

“The forum is also expected to discuss, identify needs, and facilitate the funding and financing required to accelerate the implementation of international civil aviation standards and policies, as well as global plans for aviation, in support of the ICAO No Country Left Behind (NCLB) initiative,” the statement read in part.

The objectives of the forum include the establishment and alignment of infrastructure programmes and plans that are consistent with the ICAO global strategic plans for aviation like the Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP) and the Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP).

The meeting will also discuss the stimulation of common and interoperable air transport systems leading to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

On the benefits of the forum, Mr Sirika said it is expected to build on the outcomes of the two previous ICAO World Aviation Forums (IWAF/1 and IWAF/2) held in November 2015 and September 2016 respectively.

He added that it will also tackle the existing and future financing challenges facing aviation infrastructure and capacity development in member states, especially in Africa, in the spirit of the ‘No Country Left Behind’ initiative.

The minister said Nigeria appreciates the honour and privilege of being the first country to host the Forum and appealed to ICAO for continuous support for the country’s drive to reposition its aviation sector.

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