Monday, 24 October 2016

33rd Annual General Meeting of CUTIX PLC: Ifezulike Retires as chairman, O.J.Mbonu Steps in.

By Ify David 
L - R: Engr. Ifeanyi Uzodike [C.E.O], Engr. David Ifezuluike and Mrs Ijeoma Oduonye [coy Sec.]
 NNEWI; The Chairman, CUTIX PLC, Engr. David Ifezulike [JP] has retired both as Director and as Chairman.

Engr. Ifezulike announced his retirement at the 33rd Annual General Meeting of CUTIX PLC held yesterday inside Conv-Aj Hall, Nnewi, in Anambra State, Nigeria.

Engr. Ifezulike before announcing his retirement, reviewed the performance of the company for the financial year ended April 3o, 2016, and highlighted factors that affected their performance during the year and then presented an outlook for the company’s future.

Engr Uzochukwu Uzodike and other Directors

He identified the volatile political and the harsh economic environment in the country as the factors that affected their performance during the year. 

According to him, although there was peaceful transition from President Goodluck Jonathan to President Muhammadu Buhari, yet, the political scene had been marked by violence, bickering, security threats which cut across the country.  

He further stated that the reality today is that Nigeria appears to be a more divided nation on burning national issues, stating that there was need for deliberate efforts to unite all to a common vision, regretting that the change which the present federal government promised Nigeria was yet to come to reality.

‘While some previous security threats appear to be better contained, there are new emerging threats and agitations by more groups, which our government at the federal, state and local government levels would have to address tactfully’, he stated.

Engr. Ifezulike, therefore called for a more stable environment characterized by little or no security threats, good leadership, reduced corruption, equity, and fairness, harmonious working relationship between the various executive and legislative arms of government, incorruptible judiciary, and unquestionable respect and regards for the rule of law.

He further stated that the decline in economic activities continued during the year under review, and observed that in spite of the much anticipated increase in the level of foreign investments as a result of the initial warm reception and support extended to the new government, yet the Nigerian economy remains in decline.

‘Revenue accruable to the government fell significantly as a result of the crash in oil price, which at a point fell below 30 dollar per barrel, thus both federal and state governments could not finance many projects.

‘The situation became so bad that most manufacturers could no longer access up to ten per cent of their foreign exchange [FOREX] requirements through the Central Bank of Nigeria.

‘we have resorted to sourcing for forex to purchase raw materials from the parallel market. The net effect of this situation is that the cost of doing business has increased and inadvertently the prices of products have increased significantly. As at 30th April 2016, the Dollar was being exchanged at above one Dollar for Three Hundred Naira [N300]’, he elaborated.

Engr. Ifezulike also noted that government introduced some level of deregulation in the petroleum products which led to increase in the prices of Petroleum Motor Spirit [PMS] and Diesel [AGO] by more than Thirty Per Cent [30%] for both products.

He went ahead to say that the introduction of this policy which allowed for better pricing of PMS in particular has eased the scarcity that was pronounced in some parts of the country.

Engr. Ifezulike also observed that multiple taxation and touts seeking to collect illegal levies remain unabated, regretting that the inability of government at all levels to address the issue of multiple taxation in spite of pronouncements by the Joint Tax Board [JTB] has been one of the greatest undoings of manufacturing industries in Nigeria.

He, therefore, tasked governments at all levels to tackle the issue of multiple taxation with every sense of sincerity and urgency.

He informed the shareholders that despite the impediments posed by the political and the economic situations illustrated above, the performance of CUTIX PLC still improved in the financial year 2016, which influenced the company’s proposal to pay a dividend of 14 kobo per share.

Engr. Ifezulike finally stated that the cable giant in Africa planned to continue to invest in production assets in spite of difficult operating environment, explaining that it was the only way to ensure that the company remains strong and viable while increasing its capacity and capability.

He admitted that new cable manufacturers based in Nigeria were bringing out their products in the market, which he noted would only motivate them to work harder to grow the company bigger and sustain its competiveness in the market.

In announcing his retirement both as Director and Chairman, Engr. David Ifezulike expressed great confidence that his successor would keep the flag of CUTIX flying higher.

Responding to the recommendation of the company to pay 14 kobo per 50 kobo share, the oldest shareholder, Chief Shotunde Topeju was thrilled at the proposed dividends and expressed his unreserved appreciation to the management of CUTIX PLC for the huge success recorded in the same year that many companies in Nigeria had gone down the drain.

He prayed that God would continue to grant them the wisdom and the grace needed to pilot CUTIX PLC to greater levels in 2017 financial year.

The overjoyed shareholders unanimously moved for the approval of the proposed dividends of 14 kobo per 50 kobo share. 

Highlight of the AGM was the appointment of Dr. Okechukwu John Mbonu as the new chairman of CUTIX PLC to replace Engr. David Ifezulike who retired as the chairman. 

In the interview granted to, Dr. O. J. Mbonu said that CUTIX PLC has been a lucky company, because, in the first place when it was founded, it was well grounded.

Dr. Mbonu admitted that the pacesetter in cable manufacturing industry has always been managed by the best hands. He said that despite the economic depression in the country, that CUTIX PLC was in a very unique position, because ‘it is strong financially to grow.

‘The challenge right now is how to navigate through the depression which is very serial. I can tell you that the next two, three years are very crucial for me, because two things are possible:

‘A lot of companies are suffering from what I call massive gearing, and so the market is there for us to take, but at the same time it is very risky, because, if we grow without control, we could also fall into the same trap with those other companies.

‘The task before us is, therefore, to navigate between these two factors all the way, while at the same time creating solid values for the shareholders’, reiterating that the flag of the cable giant must continue to fly higher.

The 2016 Annual General Meeting of CUTIX PLC ended with an election of members of the audit committee to represent shareholders for the financial year 2016. 

Chief Edmund Njoku and Mr. Jude Okpala sought for a re-election into the committee, but while the former sailed through with 130 votes, the latter lost his position with 128 votes to Adioha Ndubisi Francis.

The result was upheld by majority, and they were inaugurated forthwith.  

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