Nigeria’s 14 listed banks achieved cumulative profits of N256 billion for the first quarter of the year, data released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange showed. A drive for effective funding optimisation and higher efficiency helped the banks achieve the profit.

The total net profit of the 14 banks for the period increased 16.51 percent from N219.791 billion in Q1 2018 to N256 billion in Q1 2019.

Capital market analysts quoted by the Guardian were of the opinion that the Q1 performance reflected the resilience of the banking sector in Nigeria considering the slow growth in the banking environment.

The 14 listed Nigerian banks are Guaranty Trust Bank, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, United Bank of Africa, Sterling Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Fidelity Bank, FBN Holdings, Jaiz Bank, Unity Bank, Wema Bank, Union Bank of Nigeria, and FMCB Group.

Leading the Nigerian banks in profit made in Q1 2019 was Zenith Bank, which reported N50 billion in profit. Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank, and ETI were the other leading Nigerian banks in Q1 profit with N49.302 billion, N41.147 billion and N30.587 billion respectively. UBA and Stanbic reported N28.7 billion and N19.15 billion respectively.

The profits of Stanbic IBTC and Union Bank dropped in Q1 2019 over the comparable period in 2018. Stanbic IBTC’s profit fell from N23 billion to N19.15 billion, a drop of close to 17 percent in Q1 2019 over Q1 2018. Union Bank’s profit fell marginally by 0.26 percent to N5.27 billion from N5.29 billion.

Among other listed Nigerian banks, FNBH posted profits of approximately N15.8 billion, Fidelity Bank N5.94 billion, FMCB 3.62 billion, Sterling Bank 3.24 billion, Wema Bank 1.4 billion, Unity Bank N465 million, and Jaiz bank 428.7 billion.

Last year, Nigerian banks made significant efforts to recover bad loans, which powered their performance. Zenith Bank was Nigeria’s leading bank by profit last year with profit after tax of N193 billion for financial year 2018.