By Naomi Uzor
THE First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari, has said that since Nigerians has voted for change, they should be rest assured that positive change will soon be witnessed in the country.
Aisha who spoke through the former Deputy Governor of Lagos state, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, at the 2015 LCCI commerce and industry awards, said, her husband, President Mohammed Buhari, is ready to serve Nigerians and to bring positive change to the country.
“Since Nigerians has voted for change, positive change will soon come to this country, my husband is ready to serve and make the change come to reality, very soon, we will all live to see the goodness of our great country” she said.
Speaking at the award ceremony, the Chairman, Mopson pharmaceutical, Dr. Michael Oyebanjo Paul, who was presented with the award for excellence in the use of intervention funds, said the company has emerged as a success story in an environment where lending to SME and micro businesses remain unattractive to creditors.
According to the Bank of Industry (BoI), Mopson did not only liquidate its borrowed funds timely, but was able to utilize the fund to transform the company leading to its emergence as one of the key players in the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry within a short space of time.
BoI said “With the SMEs intervention funds, Mopson was able to increase number of its employees by 30 per cent, increase output and capacity of tablets and syrups production by 34 per cent and monthly turnover by over 40 per cent”.
PZ Cussons, while receiving the award for impactful contribution to economy through backward integration, the General Manager, External Affairs, PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC, Mohammed Tahir, said the company in partnership with Wilmar Singapore, has made investment to restore Nigeria’s status as world-league player in the global palm oil industry and involves backward integration through upstream investments in plantations, as well as in refining and downstream distribution.
The organizers said the firm has made a strong mark in the use of locally sourced materials to develop and produce unique consumer products for the local markets and has consistently aligned with government policy to execute backward integration programmes where Nigeria demonstrates a comparative advantage, noting that, the company recognizes that agriculture will continue to play a huge role in Nigeria’s large and diverse economy and has invested heavily over the years in landmark backward integration projects.
The President of LCCI, Alhaji Remi Bello, noted that, the award was held to celebrate excellence, best practices in corporate governance, value-addition, backward integration achievements, innovations, corporate social responsibility and high standards of business and professional ethnics.
“Our awardees of today have distinguished themselves in various and diverse spheres of enterprise. They symbolize the hope and promise of a prosperous Nigerian economy. The selection process was rigorous, painstaking and evidence based” he said.
Other companies that won awards in different categories are, DHL global forwarding Nigeria, Hygeia HMO, First Consultants Medical Centre, MTN, La Campagne Tropicana resort, Actis Nigeria, Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria, Flour Mills of Nigeria, The Nigeria inter-bank settlement system PLC, Unified Payments Nigeria, Premium Pensions, Pal Pensions, Cornerstone Insurance, Mansard Insurance, UBA, Diamond bank and Fidelity bank.