Rokel Commercial Bank, RCB, partly owned, and the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, SLCB, wholly owned by the Government of Sierra Leone, today presented their dividends to His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio.

Minister of Finance, Dennis Vandy, said the two banks were presenting their end-of-year dividends to the President because government was the owner of SLCB and a minority shareholder at RCB.

Acting Managing Director of SLCB, Bockarie Kalokoh, said after 2018 the bank had been performing well and that the presentation of their dividend showed that they were doing well in the banking industry and in the financial sector.

He said he was proud to mention the success of Sierra Leoneans, adding that they were happy to note that they quadrupled dividends from Le 5.1 billion in 2018 to Le 20.2 billion in 2021.

Deputy Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, Emmanuel Borbor, said the bank, 65% owned by the government, had been through turbulence over the years but since 2018 they had made some gains and were proud to present their dividend for the first time.

He further stated that although the bank did not make any profit for the years 2017 and 2018, they had tried to improve in the years that followed and for the first time in 2021 they were presenting Le 6.2 billion as dividends, hoping that they would improve in the coming years.

In his brief response, President Bio said he was happy to receive the banks at State House and was also happy to know that Sierra Leonean-owned banks were performing well. He further stated that that should serve as an inspiration to other locally owned and run institutions.

“We have to be proud as a nation for such progress in this sector,” he said and urged the leadership of the banks to pay keen attention to the sector while thanking the boards, management and staff of the two banks.