Promises Kept: Access Holdings Chairman Aig-Imoukhuede Reiterates Core Values, Commends NGX on Corporate Governance

Chairman, Access Holdings Plc, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede has applauded the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) for its pivotal role in bolstering corporate governance across the Nigerian Business environment. He was speaking at the Access Holdings Facts Behind the Rights Issue Presentation held on Tuesday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos where he stated that efforts of the Nigerian Exchange have not only fostered a more ethical business environment but have also increased investor confidence, ultimately driving economic growth in the Nation.

During his presentation on the bank’s growth from its humble beginnings over the last two decades, Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede elaborated on its core values, spotlighting its commitment to sustainable growth and  the role of the Exchange as one that has fostered its expansion through corporate policies that help businesses thrive.

According to him, key strategies employed by the bank over the years include substantial investments in infrastructure, technology, organic growth through strategic acquisitions, partnerships with international banks and ecosystem partners, and above all, keeping every promise made.

‘’And for 25 years and I say 25 years, even though I remember that we joined the access bank family in 2002. So, 22 years ago, access bank was listed on the stock market in 1998 or thereabout. And without actually the platform of this market, we would not have had the opportunity to enter don’t ask me today how but it tells you that the NG X enables entrepreneurs, dreamers, visionaries for those who have turned them into institutions, to connect with shareholders, people who will invest in them who will bet on them, based on their understanding of the strategies of the companies that are listed on the market, and the understanding of the performance of those businesses.

“And that transformation is why when you go to the market, and you have a facts behind the figures or facts behind the offer or facts behind the rights is basically try to ensure that all issuers don’t just tell a story of numbers. They tell the story behind the numbers which are more important than the numbers itself. So our rights issue is yes a financial exercise but it’s actually a continuation of that Access bank story.”

L-R: Morounke Olufemi, Group Chief Financial Officer, Access Holdings Plc; Temi Popoola, Group CEO, Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group); Bolaji Agbede, Acting Group Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer, Access Holdings Plc;; Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Chairman, Access Holdings Plc; Ahonsi Unuigbe, Chairman, Nigerian Exchange Limited; and Roosevelt Ogbonna, Group Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Plc, during the Facts Behind the Rights Issue Presentation by Access Holdings Plc, at the NGX in Lagos, on Tuesday 8th July 2024

The approved Rights Issue offers approximately 17.7 billion shares each at a price of N19.75 per share. The offer is issued on the basis of one (1) new ordinary share for every two (2) existing ordinary shares held as of Friday, 7 June 2024.

Group Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Plc, Roosevelt Ogbonna, In his address, highlighted the bank’s commitment to value creation, a principle that has driven its success over the past two decades. He recounted the journey from 2002, when analysts laughed at the bank’s ambitious goal of becoming a top 10 bank within five years, despite being ranked 65th out of 89 at the time. Ogbonna shared that the bank benchmarked itself against global giants like HSBC, JP Morgan, and Citibank, a vision many considered unrealistic. However, 20 years later, the bank has proven its critics wrong through consistent performance and growth, expressing gratitude to the support of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and NGX.

“We’re focused on where the money is. If you look at the African continent, and you were to split it from an economic power perspective, and where the real banking profit is, it is in South Africa, followed by East Africa, then North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa.

“I know that a lot of people think that we make so much money in West Africa. The reality is that with the capital that we have in this part of the world, if we move it to West or to South East Africa will be a lot more profitable.”

Responding to new developments with the bank, Shareholders at the event expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Bank encouraging its management to build on its current efforts by increasing engagement with the investing public.

Shareholders at the event expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Bank encouraging its management to build on its current efforts by increasing engagement with the investing public.

“You must continually engage the investing public, because no two investors are the same. But the more you are able to aggregate those different perspectives and views, the chances are high that you will be ale to do far better than what your contemporaries can do.” Stated Nona Awo, Market Analyst and shareholder.

Group Chairman, NGX Group Alhaji Umaru Kwairanga, earner in his welcome address commended the Access group’s efforts in transforming a struggling bank into a major financial institution not just in Nigeria and the West African Sub-region, but as well in the Global market. He explained that with  the launch of the NGX digital Platform, the Exchange is poised to ensure ease of transactions for investors.

“The Nigerian Stock Exchange has introduced a digital primary market platform, allowing shareholders to subscribe to offers from their phones or other digital devices. This platform aims to enhance the investor experience by providing immediate acknowledgment within two minutes of subscription. This initiative is expected to boost participation and ensure a smooth process for wholesale and retail shareholders”

‘’On our part as an Exchange, we are committed to doing all that is necessary to ensure that bond issuers lie Access Plc We are committed to doing all that is necessary to ensure that issuers like Access holdings PLC both wholesale and retail shareholders have a seamless and efficient interface during these recapitalization periods. That is why we established our digital primary market platform, which connects shareholders who wish to subscribe to offers such as Access holdings on their phones and other digital services from the comfort of their homes. Shareholders can securely subscribe to these offers from the comfort of the office and home, and they receive acknowledgement immediately within two minutes. ‘’

Group CEO, Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group), Temi Popoola, also highlighted the Exchange’s digital transformation efforts over the past three years. He noted that when he came into the market, the Exchange was already leveraging technology and had a strong focus on digital advancements with a clear mission: to simplify the distribution of securities to be as easy as transferring money via mobile phone.

In the past, he explained, distributing securities involved cumbersome paper processes for activities such as rights issuances and public offers where Investors had to fill out forms, find brokers, and manually submit orders, leading to numerous challenges including e-dividend issues and distribution success rates.

However, Popoola proudly announced that the Exchange had reached a significant milestone with the development of a system that not only allows for digital consumption of securities but also integrates seamlessly with any institution capable of utilizing technology and APIs. This advancement according to him means that investors can now easily purchase securities with just a few clicks, wherever they access their financial products.

“We’ve had several building blocks, but at least certainly now yesterday, for the first time, at least in the history of the exchange, not just can you now consume securities digitally. We’ve also built something that allows a plug in to literally any institution that can consume technology and can consume API’s.

“So as we go along this journey with access and with many of the other financial institutions, you would find that the ability to buy securities is extremely easy, wherever it is that you’re consuming your financial products, you would find that opportunity to be as easy as clicking a few buttons and be able to invest.”

There is no doubt that this digital advancement not only enhances efficiency in the market, but also aligns with the broader goal of modernizing financial markets across the country, making investment opportunities more accessible to all especially as Access Holdings Plc embarks on this transformative journey.

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