…Declares bright future
By Osa Amadi
Despite the challenges in Nigeria’s business environment, U.O.O Nigeria Plc has declared that the future is bright. The optimism was shared during the 30th AGM of the company held recently at the Heritage Hotel Akure, Ondo State.
Speaking at the AGM, Chairman of the meeting, Mazi Okechukwu Unegbu, said with all the challenges, U.O.O managed to follow due process in order to ensure accountability and prudent management principles for growth.
According to Mazi Unegbu, as a strategy for the future, U.O.O Nigeria Plc plans to leverage on its core business area where it has comparative advantage such as in Real Estate, Property Development and Management. “All idle assets are being turned around, while existing structures are enhanced not only to improve their esthetics but also to attract greater revenue,” he said.
The plan, said the Chairman, is projected to start yielding noticeable result within the next two or three years, and as it stabilizes, the company will further re-enter trading activities and other areas – all geared towards increased revenue and profitability.
The shareholders also deliberated on a number of other issues including the election and retirement of some directors, appointment of auditors, election of members of the audit committee and the presentation of a dividend for consideration by the shareholders.
The Directors re-elected included Nze Edozie.U. Okafor, Mazi Okechukwu Unegbu, Nze Nwanolue Okafor, Nzekunie Nduaguba, Mr. Gabriel Nkanang and Mr. Mike Esotu representing BOI and Trust Co. Limited, while Nze Malibe Okafor was not re-elected by the shareholders.
Reviewing the business environment in 2019/2020, an election year fraught with political uncertainties, the Chairman of the meeting praised the professionalism and resilience of the Board, management and dedicated staff of the company which kept the company afloat under the threatening weight of debt, saying that plans and forecasts were rendered obsolete due to the speed at which economic and fiscal policies changed.
For instance, consumers were impacted by rising inflation and significant reduction in disposable income. GDP growth remained stable, averaging 2.3% by the fourth quarter, against 1.9% in 2018. At the same time, inflation was relatively high at 11.3%.
During the year under review, the company braced the challenges in poor power supply, low budget implementation and poor transport infrastructure to continue to grow marginally.
Amongst those present at the meeting were the Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, P.C Okwuaya; the Auditors, Oludare Okusanya & Co; the Registrars, PAC Registrars’ Limited; and a representative of the corporate Affairs commission.
U.O.O Nigeria Plc which had been in operation since 1956, is one of the oldest surviving Nigerian company.