By Demola Akinyemi
The Managing Director of LUBCON Limited Mr Adesoji Fagbemi has urged the federal government to intervene in the perennial problems of the acute absence of power and high cost of credit facilities that are seriously hindering manufacturing growth in Nigeria.
Adesoji who spoke at a press conference in LUBCON’s premises Ilorin to herald the celebrations of the company’s 30th year Anniversary recalled with nostalgia how the company expended N93M on Diesel in one quarter of a year to power its generators and several millions of Naira spent on improving power supply but without maximum results.
He said, “In a quarter of a year we spend at least N93M on Diesel to power our generators. This is outside efforts that have cost us millions of Naira to improve power supply through the national grid having involved other companies, hotels and institutions around here. Up till now, the results we are getting are not satisfactory.
“The double digits lending rates by banks to the manufacturers to is high and unaffordable. These two fundamental factors and others are killing the manufacturing sector. Many companies have gone underground because of these challenges, it’s the grace of God that had seen us through in the last 30 years. Therefore there must be deliberate intervention by the federal government in these two critical areas in order to ease the doing of businesses in Nigeria and also stimulate the economy of the country. “
He particularly appealed to commercial banks to assist the manufacturing industry with adequate financing, describing sourcing funds from banks as herculean. “We need support from banks, but those in the banking sector continue not to be forthcoming”.
Moving forward, the Lubcon executive said that the company has a plan to invest in alternative energy to tackle power challenges in the country in partnership with consortia of organizations on gas production in the Ajaokuta gas park.
He said,”Hopefully, when operational, it would solve power generation and distribution in the country and boost trade and investment, especially among micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in and around the state”.
He also said that the group of companies was planning to go into agriculture towards serving as a platform for agric processing and export for MSMEs with the establishment of an industrial agro park for entrepreneurs to maximize their potential in agro processing.
“We’ve been supporting agriculture before now as we supply lubricants for tractors, machine tools, etc” he stressed.
Mr. Fagbemi, who called on security operatives to improve on their logistics to tackle economic saboteurs who engage in adulteration of lubricants and engine oil in the country, said that regulators are sometimes incapacitated to battle people behind adulteration.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of the company, Mr Taiye Williams, said that it has been 30 years of top-notch lubricants production hitherto dominated by foreigners before it came into existence, adding that the company supplies to such countries as Ghana, Niger, Benin Republic, South Sudan, Liberia, and Ethiopia.
He nevertheless said that.”LUBCON has over the last 30 years spread its tentacles to all States of the Nigerian federation and outside the shores of the country, with presence in several African countries namely Ghana, Niger, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Benin Republic,Cote D’Ivore, South Africa and Ethiopia. “
Among other achievements,he said the company has grown “from its single status into a group of companies with interests in Aviation, Construction, Environment, Finance, Manufacturing, Petroleum, Pharmaceuticals, Plastics and Packaging, Hospitality and Shopping/Logistics.”