By PETER EGWUATU
Berger Paints Nigeria Plc has disclosed that its restructuring programme and the technical collaboration with foreign partners have started yielding fruits as shareholders were assured that dividend payment would be enhanced in the future.
The Chairman of Berger Paint Plc, Mr. Clement Olowokande, who disclosed this to shareholders at the company’s 54th Annual General Meeting, AGM held in Lagos, also announced his retirement from the company’s Board of Directors after 45 years of service, while a new Chairman, Dr. Oladimeji Alo, a non-executive director was appointed to replace him.
The chairman along three other directors, having attained the age of 70 after the last AGM, retired from the board of the company after the 54th yearly general meeting held in Lagos .The other directors are Dr. Raymond Obieri, former President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Engineer Olawale Akinpelu, former Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Mr. Balram Datwani.
Shareholders at the AGM commended the outgoing chairman and management for their efforts and commitment in ensuring that the company returns to profitability, while appreciating the dividend of 75 kobo per share that the Board declared for the financial year ended December 31, 2013.
Addressing shareholders at the meeting, the out-going Olowokande said “ Berger Paints Nigeria Plc would soon become the first paint manufacturing company to automate its production facility in West Africa.”
According to him “The directors expect that upward trend experienced in the first half of the year to continue for the rest of the year. Hopefully, we can therefore assure all our shareholders of continued good dividend.”
He said the automated plant, which would be complemented by a network of colour world centres to be located in major Nigerian cities, would not only revolutionize production and distribution processes, it would have major positive on costs, product quality, turn –around time and profitability.
In a bid to prepare the company for the future, which the automation represents, the board of directors of the company has also embarked on a major upgrade and re-engineering of the company’s organisation and human resource management infrastructure.
The chairman said, “Efforts are on-going to boost the company’s managerial capacity and make the company more nimble and adaptable to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the economy. Of particular importance to us is the implementation of the local content policy in the oil and gas sector and the prospect it holds for us, given the strategic alliances and partnership we have formed with some of the largest manufacturers of paints in the world.”