By Adeyemi Adepetun
THE Group Managing Director, Omatek Ventures, Mrs. Florence Seriki, has attributed the growth of the company in Nigeria in the last three years to various investments in alternative power solution.
Speaking at the combined 2010 and 2011 yearly general meetings of the company in Lagos, Seriki pointed out that Omatek’s turnover was mainly from the sale of hybrid solution with solar, UPS and inverters together with its new LED bulbs that last three to five years without replacement.
According to her, that had not allowed the company to really source funds from financial institutions in the country.
She explained that Omatek had benefited from buying from first class manufacturers, adding that the importation of the solution was a Semi Knocked Down process as opposed to the computers that were completely knocked down components and raw materials.
The Omatek boss said that these were easier to fund and a clear-cut evidence of the immense opportunity in Omatek.
“If over a billion were equally done in this respect, then with funding available, the expected turnover of the company is expected to sky rocket. The opportunity seen in this pioneering ICT factory is one that will place the group in the fore front of Africa’s ICT and a champion in the innovation of ICT in Africa.”
She explained that some challenges including power, regulation and funding from financial institutions were paramount among the list of identified challenges hindering the growth of ICT firms, especially the indigenous ones in the country and called on government to intervene.
Meanwhile, shareholders at the AGM lauded the company for its doggedness and determination to keep it alive despite the challenges it had faced in the last three years.
According to them, it was a phenomena performance for Omatek to have sustained itself after all its working capital and facilities were suddenly truncated in the wake of the banking reforms in 2008.
The shareholders, expressed satisfaction with the boldness and determination of the management to ensure that the company maintained its activities despite all odds.
Omatek’s shareholders’ funds grew from N6, 012,616 in 2009, to N6, 449,331 in 2010, indicating an increase of seven per cent. The company’s net assets and group net assets also appreciated by seven per cent, respectively.
The Group Chairman, Omatek, Dr. Timothy Farinre, thanked the shareholders for their patience, support and understanding of the peculiar situation it found itself in the last three years and apologised for the delay in conducting the two AGMS.
Farinre said that Omatek had to fund all its consumer schemes and factory initiatives on its own without support from any bank in the last three years.
He stressed that the company’s banker, Afribank Plc (now Mainstreet Bank Limited), had expressed its inability to offer support due to its takeover.
“The Omatek Consumer Scheme with many states was a joint product with Afribank and this was cancelled suddenly. Their 10-year old mortgage was cancelled and the offshore and local guarantee facilities could not be sustained as the bank had lost its offshore guarantee as well.
“The company has commitments and loyalty to its customers and the states’ consumer schemes were still sustained by Omatek despite these sudden challenges from Afribank; a tough situation after just being listed or going public,” Fanire explained.
Omatek, through a private placement undertaken by Afribank Capital Limited, eventually got listed as the first computer company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in July 2008.
Seriki raised concern over the Federal Government’s N500bn intervention fund for the manufacturing sector, stating that the benefits expected from it had not been forthcoming “due to some banks’ refusal to process and submit duly completed application papers for their customers.”
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