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Ohiwerei decries increasing cost of doing business

By Laja Thomas
LAGOS—The Chairman, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Elder Felix Ohiwerei, has lamented the high cost of doing business in Nigeria. He stated this at the company’s 11th Annual General Meeting, AGM, in Lagos yesterday.

According to him, “the reforms of the country’s ports are yet to take full effect. Clearing of goals at the ports remains very sluggish and culminated in high demurrage costs. Foreign exchange availability from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, continues to drop.

The naira exchange rate declined from N117 in November 2008 to N152 to a dollar presently and the exchange rate fluctuates between N149 and N152  while the global financial meltdown imposed challenges on the business environment through reduced access to both local and foreign funds, reduced purchasing power and sustained high price of raw material inputs.”

He told the shareholders that the board and management was determined to ensure that the company assume the leadership in the healthcare industry.

His words, “we will continue to drive towards excellence both in operations and results. In this direction, we propose to raise N2 billion bond for the completion of outstanding projects, primary among which is the Biotech plant,” adding that, “by the time our biotech plant commences operations, we shall be in a position to substantially meet the need of Nigerians in the supply of infusions.”

Nevertheless, a mild drama ensued at the AGM when some shareholders accused the Board of not posting the annual report to them before the AGM, an allegation which the chairman denied but apologised thereafter to douse rising tension at the meeting.


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