This represents an increase of 83 per cent over the 2019 dividend payment of GH¢15.7 million.
Mr. Daniel Sackey, the Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana, presenting the dividend, said even though the Bank of Ghana had directed that dividends should not be paid for the 2020 financial year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its possible impact on the balance sheets of banks, “considering the strong performance of the bank and following further engagements with the Regulator, we were given the go ahead to pay dividends to our shareholders.”
He said being one of the key investment vehicles of SSNIT, which was the second largest shareholder after Ecobank’s parent company, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, it was proper that on an annual basis, the Bank came to render accounts to the investor.
The Managing Director said that this year, Ecobank was quite proud and happy to have returned a significant amount of dividend to SSNIT.
Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang, Director-General of SSNIT, receiving the dividend, commended the Board, Management and staff of Ecobank for ensuring the Trust’s investment yielded returns despite the challenging times occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said “we wished the dividend was more because we have huge monthly pensions payments we are obliged to make. Currently, we are paying about GH¢250 million to pensioners monthly.
We therefore anticipate higher returns for the current year considering the improvement in the economy”.
The SSNIT Scheme relies largely on contributions collected and investment returns to pay benefits. “In running the Scheme, we rely on the returns from investments that we have in investee companies to meet our obligations” he added.
He assured that the Trust was committed to investing prudently and ensuring workers funds are safe.
“Management of the Trust is committed to restructuring existing investments and investing in low risk but high yielding investment assets.
Based on the sound policies adopted, we are confident that in the coming years, a lot more investee companies will be posting some very good returns.
Mr. Kofi Osafo Maafo, the Deputy Director-General, Investments and Development of SSNIT, lauded the Bank for their strong performance, adding that all the key indicators were showing a positive trend including a solid capital adequacy ratio of 20 per cent.
The Trust’s investments in Banks stood at GH¢1.76 billion as at December 2020.
This constitutes 16.6 per cent of the total investment portfolio of the Scheme. With 16.21 per cent shares, SSNIT is the second largest shareholder in Ecobank Ghana.