Distinguished stakeholders, shareholders, my fellow board members, management and staff, our customers, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the 33rd Annual General Meeting of our great company. I am most grateful to everyone for the support accorded me so far since taking up the mantle of the leadership of this great company. This year’s Annual General meeting marks my second as the Managing Director of our beloved company.
The road no doubt has been bumpy and full of many global and local macro-economic headwinds to which we have remained resilient with your support and unalloyed commitment. The year 2016 was particularly challenging for most businesses and sectors of the Nigerian economy. The Nigerian economy witnessed her worst economic performance in over 20 years recording four consecutive quarters of Negative GDP growth rate and thereby sliding into recession. Inflation rose to a double digit of 18.45% as at December 2016, foreign exchange liquidity challenges was heightened resulting into an exchange rate crisis in the country, Monetary policy rate (MPR) was increased to 14% to attract foreign portfolio investors to the country which further increased the cost of borrowing in the economy to a rate in excess of 25%.
Amidst the global and local shocks your company was resilient and was able to initiate and close major projects with its clients. Your company remains on the cutting edge of delivering innovative solutions and technologies to their clients aimed at solving their peculiar needs.
Your company was particularly visible in the Agriculture space in the course of the year, Chams Plc was engaged by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to deploy Bank Verification Number (BVN) enrolment machines nationwide to under the Federal government Anchor Borrowers project All farmers (both rural and urban) that will benefit from the program are expected to be identified through their BVNs.
In view of our successful projects with the States and Schools, we were also approached by the management of Afe Babalola UniversityAdo-Ekiti (ABUAD). The project involved the development of the School’s management portal as well as the production of Smart ID cards. We developed a biometric device aimed at resolving the identity management issues of the institution particularly as it relates to attendance, headcount etc.
We partnered with Anambra State through IGR Hub development project. The purpose of the project was to improve the internally generated revenue of the State. The exercise has helped particularly to reduce fraud in the State and hence promoted probity, transparency and accountability in government..
The Company through the membership solution product offering also assisted the Chartered Institute of Personal Management of Nigeria (CIPMN) with the development of a membership portal containing several module covering registration of members, payment of professional dues etc. We also partnered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) on the development of her electronic voting portal.
We partnered with British Council, Joint Administration and Administration Board (JAMB) and SASCON during the year. Your company through her Business Process Outsourcing solutions (BPO) was able to assist the British Council in deploying technologies to be used for e-testing, examination and interviews. We partnered with the Lagos State Government and assisted them in the development of a Lagos digital village used for Uber driving test and a host of other uses etc
In view of the loss after tax and negative retained earnings position of N1.9billion and N3.7billion respectively recorded in 2016, we have mapped out strategies to improve our top line numbers in 2017. This will involve us playing key and visible role in certain sectors of the Nigerian economy which will believe ample opportunities exist and are the key economic thrust of the current administration.
Chams Plc will continue to reinvent productivity and business processes by ensuring we develop cost and time saving technologies for the delight of our clients. We will continue to improve on our existing array of technologies and solutions aimed at helping our clients achieve increasingly complex and challenging outcomes more quickly than ever. We are deploying more of our solutions in the Agriculture space, Financial Industry with focus on small and micro finance sectors. The efforts in the small and micro finance sectors are geared towards improving the level of financial inclusion in Nigeria.
We recognize the power of building an intelligent and well diversified team to drive business outcomes and success. This is why we strive to make our workplace the greatest place to work where everyone can contribute their quota towards achieving organizational goals and objectives.
Finally, I am personally convinced of a better 2017, the stage appears set for superior performance in 2017 for our company as the economy also rebounds out of recession before the end of the year. Our company has been restructured to take advantage of profitable opportunities as they come along in the course of the year.
I want to specially thank our esteemed Board of Directors, clients and customers, management and staff and other stakeholders for your continued support through the year. I pray that God will continue to make us pacesetters in the industry and in life generally.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Group Managing Director