A construction firm, Julius Berger Plc, has said that late passage of budget, unstable exchange rates and poor release of funds for capital projects are responsible for various debts and job cuts facing the construction industries.
Besides, the firm said works on full rehabilitation of Abuja-Zaria-Kano Expressway put at a cost of over N180 billion would begin next week to enable the company meet up with the three-year completion time-frame.It said the road contract, which is one of the new projects the company has recently signed, would be executed with modern and sophisticated equipment to meet international standard.
Its Managing Director, Wolfganga Goetsch, disclosed this at the company’s 48th yearly general meeting in Abuja yesterday.Meanwhile, the firm says it has declared a profit after tax of N636,353,000 for its 2017 financial year as against the N3,656,210 loss it recorded in 2016.Chairman of the firm, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, who stated this in his message to shareholders at the event, said in light of the success, Julius Berger ended the year profitability, saying: ‘’Consequently, the board of directors are pleased to recommend a dividend of N100 per 50 kobo ordinary share resulting in a total gross dividend payout of N132 billion.’’
Sunmonu stated that notwithstanding these positive achievements and forward-moving development, Nigeria continues to face an array of issues, especially those of socio-economic and political problems, which presently require attention and action.He said: ‘’In 2017, in place of quarterly capital releases, only two releases were made to the company, the second of which was executed at year end in December. Such unpredictability limits financial planning, which normally results in cash flow problems and is the main reason for increased losses due to tight interest rates from induced utilisation of bank overdrafts as a means to bridge payment gaps.”
He promised shareholders that performance planning would be upwardly adjusted marginally to reflect incremental growth targets in direct operational resources but not in overheads, noting: ‘’The company will continue to implement its long-term strategy of diversification with regards to business segments and client mix.”
By Anthony Otaru (Guardian)