EXCLUSIVE: 10 Nigerian banks paid over N1 billion as emoluments to top directors in 2017

Ten banks operating in Nigeria paid a combined sum of over N1 billion to their respective highest paid directors in 2017, a PREMIUM TIMES’ analysis of the banks financial statements has shown.

The banks whose financials were reviewed by this newspaper include Zenith, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Access, FCMB, Wema, First Bank, Union Bank, Diamond Bank and Fidelity Bank.

A breakdown of the figures show that while GTB led the pack with the highest payment made to its highest earning director, Diamond Bank paid the least amount among the banks.

The details are contained in the banks’ consolidated financial statements and annual accounts for the year ended December 2017, submitted to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and made public earlier in the year.

The figures show that GTB paid a total of N224 million to its highest paid director at the end of the year under review and was followed by Union Bank which paid the sum of N172 million to its highest paid director.

Next on the list is UBA which paid N138 million, and then First Bank with N118 million, and Fidelity Bank which paid N102 million.

First City Monument Bank, FCMBpaid N95 million to its highest paid director, followed by Zenith Bank which paid N88 million; Access Bank paid N85 million; and Wema Bank paid N70 million.

Diamond Bank, with the least amount among the 10 banks, paid N35 million to its highest paid director.

Although it is largely believed that the highest paid director in the bank is often the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), it was unclear whether this was the situation in the cases of the banks whose accounts were reviewed by this newspaper.

A top official of one of the banks who declined to be identified because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, told PREMIUM TIMES that in most cases, the ‘highest paid director’ may refer to a top official of the bank and not necessarily the CEO.

Meanwhile, checks revealed that while a number of directors earnings remained unchanged at the end of the 2016 and 2017 financial years, others had their remuneration raised within the two-year period.

Zenith, Access, Wema and Fidelity banks maintained the same amount of emoluments paid to their highest earning directors in the two years under review, while UBA, GTB, FCMB, First Bank, Union Bank and Diamond Bank had varying degrees of reviews in their directors’ payments for the two financial years.

For instance, while UBA’s highest paid director earned N119 million in 2016, the amount was increased by about N19 million to make it N138 million in the following year.

For GTB, the highest paid director enjoyed about 10 percent pay raise to earn N224 million in 2017 from the 2016 pay of N204 million.

FCMB also raised its pay for its highest earning director by about 15 percent from N80 million in 2016 to N95 million at the end of 2017.

It was the same for First Bank whose highest paid director, according to filings made to the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE),earned N118 million in 2017, up from N105 million in 2016.

Union and Diamond banks also increased the payment from N166 million to N172 million and N33 million to N35 million between 2016 and 2017 financial years, respectively.

As the banks made huge payments to their respective highest earning directors, further checks revealed that a number of them raked in billions as profit at the end of the year under review.

Others however recorded significant drop in their revenue and profits.

PREMIUM TIMES’ review also showed that for many of the banks, the directors’ annual remuneration details excluded pension contributions and other benefits accruing to the beneficiaries.


Amount (in million) earned by highest paid directors

S/N BANKS 2017 2016
1. UBA 138 119
2. Zenith 88 88
3. GTB 224 204
4. Access 85 85
5. FCMB 95 80
6. Wema 70 70
7. First Bank (Group) 118 105
8. Fidelity 102 102
9. Union Bank 172 166
10. Diamond Bank 35 33


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