From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
New Managing Director, Benue Investment Property Company, BIPC Barr. Alex Adum has lamented over the depreciating liquidity and asset base of the company.
Barr. Adum made the lamentation yesterday at a press conference held at the company Guest House in Makurdi, Benue State capital.
He regretted that from an asset base of 45 billion naira in 1999, the fortunes of the company dropped to 25 billion and it is as low a 3 billion naira, blaming this on politics, over bloated staff of almost 200 as well as misplaced priority by preceding management.
The MD explained that this informed the recent restructuring of the company that led to right sizing in staff.
According to him, 44 staff have been disengaged, adding that more will be sacked.
‘We are sinking so we needed to offload the weight. We applied three (3) principles, last in first out, redundancy and misconduct in carrying out this exercise. It was not targeted at any local government or individuals. Those disengaged failed to add value to the company. There is no blackmail about this.
“Those disengaged was done based on the shareholder directive. I also, took the decision with the inherent power bestowed on me without consultation with the board.
“We have been experiencing liquidity challenge. We are not generating Investment on income. Our money portfolio, receipt on commodity trading failed woefully, gains from subsidiary operations, stock investment is all time low, returns from deposit no longer exist even as our worth is as low as 300 million naira while bank interest is nonexistent.
“Our Plaza in Abuja and Kahana are not doing well. Our guest house in Makurdi has a staff strength of 50 and a personnel cost of over 4 million naira monthly. The total income turnover is slightly above 1 million naira. So,our first choice was to reorganize the management structure. In that like, 4 general managers were sent out, 2 general managers Operations/Finance and Accounts while only 2 Assistant General managers were retained”, he said.
Adum, a former Commissioner for Commerce and Industry and later, Commissioner for Justice under the Suswam administration said the cumulative loss of the company is over 66 million, promising to retool and refocus it to its original mandate and status within three (3) years, explaining further that so far, the operational cost of over 130 million naira has been reduced to 42 million in a month.
He maintained that if operational cost remains low and dividend high, the company will buy more treasury bonds and euro bond to shore up its assets base.