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“OUR vision is to be Nigeria’s most dynamic construction company, an integral player in an industry which is laying the foundations for economic progress and development.
“We seize opportunities for both the company and the country and work to find optimised solutions in the delivery of excellence within all our endeavours and by integrating our multiple resources and services and we consistently deliver quality that our clients can trust in”.
With those heart-warning remarks, the Chairman of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc; Air-Vice Marshall Mohammed Nuruddeen Imam, OFR (Retd), welcomed guests and shareholders to the 42nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company which took place at the Shehu Musa- Yar’Adua centre, Abuja,z on June 21, 2012.
Obviously, concerned about the security situation in the country which has been dislocated because of the activities of Boko Haram, AVM Imam informed the gathering that JBN would henceforth suspend its activities in the Northern part of the country until the security situation improves.
“I can report that JBN experienced no services security incidents in 2011.
Nevertheless, it cannot ignore that security issues require that JBN remain vigilant and while the Niger Delta Amnesty programme continues to prove effective, Boko Haram’s activities are an increasing concern” He declared.
JBN was incorporated as a Private Limited liability company in 1970 and was subsequently converted to a public Limited liability company and its shares became listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 1991 and the principal activities of the company cover planning, design and construction of civil engineering and building works.
The subsidiaries, Abumel Nigeria Limited, in which the entity owns 70 per cent, is involved in the manufacturing and installation of building aluminum while JB Services Nigeria Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary, is involved in part management services.
Also, JB Medical Services Limited is involved in providing medical services under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) while PrimeTech Design and Engineering Nigeria Limited is involved in civil engineering and structural design activities.
But like the proverbial Oliver Twist, the Managing Director of the company, Engineer Wolfgang Goetsch, an Austrian, declared, just as echoed by AVM Imam, that the sky must be the limit for JBN in the coming years as the company has ventured into other lucrative sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“To ensure compliance with the local content laws and regulations in Nigeria as well as to enhance its on-shore and off-shore technical and logistic capacities, JBN has undertaken strategic initiatives in the year under review (2011) and these include the incorporation of a new subsidiary called PrimeTech Design and Engineering Nigeria Limited to provide design and engineering support services to the company.
“The incorporation of another new subsidiary, JBN Medical Services Limited (JBMS), to effect compliance with the provision of NHIS Act, CAP, N42 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, to provide all forms of medical and health care services which constitute a crucial support in the operations of JBMS, is licensed by the relevant Nigerian Health Authorities.
“The decision to acquire a controlling majority shareholding in the incorporated jetty, to which is transferred, the technical and logistic business and operations of Bilfinger Berger Nigeria Gmblt in Wesbaden, German and this assures that Julius Berger is in control of all required services such as planning, procurement, recruitment and capacity building”.
But AVM Imam was more explicit when he declared, unambiguously, that JBN has diversified its customer base to include clients from the oil and gas sector, private individuals and others as this, according to him, will, within the existing customer portfolio, prevents the occurrence of any unanticipated risk in a particular customer cluster or business line.
He added that the selection of clients or contracts to be executed is done by Executive Management based on a liquidity analysis of the prospective customers and that management is proactive in the recovery of payments, especially debts that are overdue, adding that Management had established sound banking relationships to ensure the availability of funds in case there was delay in payment which companies in the construction industry are often subjected to.
Giving insights into the enviable operations of JBN, the Managing Director said that the company has a technical service agreement with Bilfinger Berger which is renewable every three years, subject to the approval of the National Office of Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).
Interestingly, the past year has been rosy for the construction giants as AVM Imam declared in his address that the company recorded a gross profit of N34 billion in 2011 compared to the N29 billion generated in the preceding year while revenue from construction contracts alone amounted to only N17 billion in 2011 as against the N171 billion recorded in 2010.
The Nura Imam-led Board also decided, magnanimously, to pay a dividend of N2.40 per ordinary share to shareholders after the deduction of withholding tax “at the appropriate time”.
Summing up proceedings for the day, the Chairman disclosed that in 2011, 6,000 staffers of JBN participated in courses covering technical, managerial, supervisory and occupational areas, adding that close to 11,000 employees took part in some form of HSE training and that each and every company driver went through JBN’s Driver’s Education.