As AshakaCem Strategizes
As AshakaCem Strategizes with the ratification of new Board Chairman, the AshakaCem is embarking on an ambitious plan to retake its place in the Nigerian market.
The 40th AGM of Tuesday May 5, 2015 at Transcorp Hilton Abuja, perhaps may be the spark as the company and its shareholders literally rolled out its strategies.
Though like any other Annual General Meeting, the latest could as well pass as AGM that gave approvals to the Board and the management to explore all lawful possibilities to ensure that the AshakaCem-quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)-ups its growth exponentially in the cement sub sector.
Industry observers say, with a plan of a staggering four million metric tons in the pipeline, AshakaCem indeed could as well be securing its future market equity while meeting its customers need for quality at the same time.
The average annual total cement consumption in Nigeria is around 20million metric tons.
Giving approval to its recent result, shareholders of the company say they were impressed that the company was able to post profit and pay dividend despite the spate of insurgency in the region.
At the AGM, chairman of the Trusted Shareholder Association of Nigeria Mukhtar Mukhtar commended Board and management for maintaining what he described as ‘a lean board.’
National Coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria Sunny Nwosu also commended the Board and Management over the company’s income despite the security challenges and other setbacks in the economy.
The company located in the North East of Nigeria had been attacked by insurgents suspected to be members of the Boko Haram. This perhaps explains the loss of N2.5billion on its facilities towards the end of last year.
The chairman said: “Two insurgency attacks suffered by the company in November and December 2014 greatly affected the operation of the company and up and until now nobody knows the intention of the attackers.”
He however said the Federal Government has designated the company as a National Strategic Asset with about 400 security personnel providing security to prevent another attack.
Mr Yahyah said the company will work with the incoming General Muhammadu Buhari’s government to rebuild the battered region.
The company just announced a 45k dividend per share. This is an increase of 7.1 per cent over the previous year’s dividend payout. It also posted a modest N4.5billion profit.
The chairman Alhaji Suleiman Yahyah announced that the company is about to witnessed a massive expansion drive that will see it churning out a whooping four million metric tons of cement annually.
Feelers from AshakaCem revealed that the new expansion drive may gulp a billion US dollars($1billion).
With an income of N5billion in 2014 compared to N2.6billion in 2013, the company is embarking on an ambitious expansion drive, the AGM report said.
As part of the innovative drive for a reliable power source, the company is also planning a captive coal fired power plant of 64 megawatts .The new plants will be commissioned in 2018.
The Board of Directors had on March 12, 2015 appointed Suleiman Yahyah as its chairman. This was sequel to the resignation of his predecessor, Alhaji Umaru Kwairanga.
Mr. Yahyah a First Class Economic Graduate is also the chairman of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), Asokoro Island Limited (AIL) and Rosehill Group.
AshakaCem is a subsidiary of the Lafarge Africa Plc. With a capacity of over 400million metric tons per annum, Lafarge is now adjudged to be the world’s biggest cement manufacturer.
AshakaCem Plc is not only into the business of making cement, it is also touching the lives of the people in Gombe State and Nigeria in general.
In its 65-page Social Responsibility report, AshakaCem said it has expended millions of naira in the provision of schools, water, health facilities, electricity, roads network and as well supported the various communities by sharpening their business skills.
While shareholders smile with the proposed dividend, they also expressed optimism that the new board under the leadership of Mr. Yahyah will grow the company’s income with an improved return to shareholders.
Yahyah also promised to realign the company’s social responsibility strategy and community engagement to bring it in line with LAFARGE’s global standard.
The issue of staff remuneration is also being looked into with a planned increase currently under negotiation.