By; VICTOR DAZANG, Kaduna
Not minding the tough economic environment presently faced in Nigeria and the world over,the New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) has continued to okay a pivotal role of developing manpower for the North and the rest of the country.
Chairman of NNDC Board, Tanimu Yakubu expressed this, in an address at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company held in its board room on Friday in Kaduna.
“The overall performance is a reflection of the volatile and harsh business environment we had to contend with.
“Notwithstanding the tough operating challenges, the Company continued
in its efforts of developing quality manpower for the North and the
country in general.,” he said.
He reviewed the operating environment of the Nigerian economy in 2017, which he said, gradually emerged out of recession with a very weak GDP growth rate of 1.40% in the year, against an annual population growth rate of 2.6%. Inflation trended downwards from 18.7% at the beginning of the year to 15.37% at the year end.
“The country’s external reserves rose to over $40 billion with surplus trade and current account balances.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria, beginning in the first quarter of the year, deployed a number of monetary policy tools to boost liquidity and achieve a rate convergence in the foreign exchange market by doing away with multiple foreign exchange windows.
“Consequently, the parallel market exchange rate of the Naira stabilized at N363/US$1 towards the end of the year.
“But the gap between this rate and the official rate at N306 to the US Dollar remained rather wide to encourage an efficient and a highly predictable price,” he stressed.
Yakubu explained that fundamental macroeconomic challenges have continuously existed against the backdrop of reduced government revenues due to low commodity prices which caused a huge fiscal deficit in public finance.
“As a result of low government revenues and mass unemployment, demand remained sluggish. Businesses outside financial services sector generally reported either low sales or decreased real turnover relative to prior year’s. Cost of doing business remained high.
“Your company remained resolute and focused in realizing its corporate objectives in the face of a tough operating environment and continuous security challenges across the country,” he informed.
On the operating results and performance, he said that the company’s performance during the financial year ended 31st March 2018 registered a marginal improvement of an 8.4% increase in operating income from N747.11m to N809.68m.
“Furthermore, operating profit before tax reduced by 16.88% from N138.25m to N114.92m while earnings per share decreased from 17.54 kobo as at 31st March
2017 to 13.93 kobo as at 31st March 2018.
“Shareholders’ Funds increased marginally from N9.19 billion in 2017 to
N9.23 billion in 2018,” he stated.
The NNDC Board Chairman said that the company in the period under review earmarked reasonable resources towards promoting the NNDC Young Professionals Development Trust (NNDC/YPDT) and the Musa Bello Learning and
Resource Centre (MBLRC).
“As at November 2017, the four (4) NNDC/ICAN Centers namely Kaduna, Kano, Ilorin and Gombe have produced 734 Chartered Accountants since the inception of the Programme in November 2007,” he submitted.
On the outlook, he said that while they are not immune to the vagaries of both the local and global economies, it is their expectation that with the new projects they intend to promote, the potential exists for NNDC to fulfill its future expectations.
“Thus, with the support of our shareholders, the future outlook of the company remains very promising,” he predicted.
He appreciated the untiring support and encouragement of the Northern States Governor’s Forum (NSGF) to the company.
“I would again like to appreciate my colleagues on the Board, as well as management and staff for their cooperation and always doing their best for the company to succeed.
“I humbly request that these be sustained and escalated to enable us to perform better in the future,” he concluded.