PRESS STATEMENT ON THE 35TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING FOR FINANCIAL YEAR ENDED 31ST DECEMBER 2016
Odu’a Investment Company Limited held its 35th Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 20th September, 2017 at the Company’s Group Headquarters, Cocoa House, Ibadan. The company noted that for the national economy, the year 2016 will arguably be one of the toughest years for businesses in recent history. A regime of weak Global Crude Oil prices and declining volume output due to production sabotage in the Niger Delta grievously affected Federal Government revenue resulting in unprecedented foreign exchange shortages. The country recorded its first negative GDP rate in over 20 years. Following two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, the economy unfortunately slipped into recession with all the attendant repercussion of macro -economic tremors that affected the well being of the populace.
Despite several fiscal and monetary tools deployed by the managers of the economy, inflation scaled single digit bar and surged to about 19% and the Naira took an unprecedented plunge against the US Dollar to over N500 at the parallel market by year end. Commercial Bank lending rates and consumer prices were all at astronomical levels culminating in depressed consumer purchasing power.
It is under above circumstances that the company operated in 2016. Rentals from the various commercial, retail and residential properties stagnated while in some cases particularly in the retail segment had reduction to retain occupancy. The Group’s overall revenue increase 5% from N3.73b to N3.92b while the Holding Company posted an 11% revenue increase to N1.88b from N1.69b in 2015.
A combination of aggressive cost management and efficiencies put in place during this turbulent year assisted us to cap administrative expenses at almost previous year level. This along with drastic reduction of our finance cost as a result of efficient capital deployment enabled us to curtail the impact of the economic headwinds hence translated to a healthy bottom line. We are able to increase our Profit before Tax by 32% from N597m in 2015 to N789m in 2016.
According to the Chairman of the Board, Chief Segun Ojo, the payment of a gross dividend of N275million will be made to the shareholders. This is a 41.75% increase over the dividend payment for 2015 financial year.
For the records, the Company has paid a cumulative gross dividend of N635.77million to its shareholders for the three years 2014-2016.
The Group Managing Director/CEO of the Company, Mr Adewale Raji also informed that the process for the full admission of Lagos State as the 6th Member State of Odu’a was almost completed as the Financial Legal Transaction Advisers appointed by both parties have completed the valuation of the assets of Odu’a Group. The reconciliation of the outcome is ongoing now which will culminate in the formal execution of the Share Subscription Agreement by the two parties in the following month.
The Company also commissioned its new Real Estate Development named “ACE ESTATE” on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. This exquisite residential development of detached duplexes is nested at Jericho GRA, Ibadan. According to the Odu’a GMD, the project was executed within  months as a result of the dedication and commitment of the Board and Management of the Company to ensure Odu’a becomes a contemporary and serious player in the real estate sector.
Mr Raji also spoke on the renewed drive of the Company to grow its portfolio by diversifying and increasing its revenue sources by leveraging its arable farmland across Western Nigeria for integrated agricultural value chain businesses. He said the Company was at advanced stage to concretize Joint Venture partnership with credible investors on some of the land to establish agro-allied businesses that have out grower schemes.
The Group’s strategy under Project Rebirth to reposition its hospitality business to bring about major transformation into world-class hotels in making progress with KPMG Advisory Services as anchor.
Raji assured Shareholders and Stakeholders alike that the Company will forge ahead in assimilating more private sector principles in organizational structure, benchmarks, corporate governance and performance management. He added that the Company will operate on entrepreneurial spirit and ethos, develop and deploy more business models that leverage on the socio-economic comparative advantage and competitiveness of Western Nigeria with the vision to actualize its mandate as the engine room for the economic development of the region.
DATED 20TH SEPTEMBER, 2017
The attention of the Board of Directors of Odu’a Investment Company Limited has been drawn to a recent paid advertorial on Page 5 of The Nation Newspaper of Wednesday, April 19, 2017 by Chief (Dr) Isaac F. Akintade(immediate past Chairman of ODU’A) in which malicious , defamatory and libelous allegations were made.
The Board of ODU’A hereby dissociates itself from the said publication as it represents the personal views/submission of Chief Isaac Akintade who has ceased to be a member of the Board with effect from 22nd March 2017. The Board of ODU’A is made up of experienced and responsible members who are committed to directing the affairs of the Company in line with International Best practices, Corporate Governance Principles and the provisions of Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990.
The allegations of Chief Akintade are unfounded, baseless and unjustifiable as the issues referred to in the publication are unverifiable allegations, distortion of facts and a calculated attempt to discredit the Board particularly the person of the Group Managing Director. The issues were deliberated upon at Board Meetings chaired by Chief Akintade and collective decisions were taken in the best interest of the Group.
The Board would not and did not condone any infringement on Corporate Governance Principles. The Board was not involved in any fraudulent practice, misappropriation or deceit of Shareholders. The Board is committed to repositioning the entire ODU’A Group and introducing new businesses that would bring the ODU’A Group out of the stagnation of the past and return to profitability.
In the interest of our organization, we would not join issues with Chief Akintade on the pages of Newspapers. Response to all wild allegations has been sent to our Shareholders and critical Stakeholders.
The general public is hereby advised to discountenance the advertorial of Chief Akintade and be assured that our Conglomerate, ODU’A INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED is on the right track to recovery as the engine room for economic development of South West Nigeria.
Chief Segun Ojo
CHAIRMAN – Board of Directors
ODU’A INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED
DATED MAY 1ST, 2017