Delivered by Oscar N. Onyema, OON Good afternoon, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen: It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to today’s ‘Facts-Behind-the-Figures’ presentation by Lafarge Africa Plc.
As today marks our second virtual Fact-Behind-the-Figures event since the COVID-19 pandemic, let me on behalf of the Council, Management and Staff of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the entire capital market community, commend the Board and Management of Lafarge Africa Plc for utilizing this platform.
This presents as an opportunity for Lafarge Africa to inform the market of its financial performance, as well as its strategic and operational developments. Given that the market is driven by timely, relevant and accurate information, your interaction with the market through this forum is vital and we encourage you to continue with this trend.
The Exchange has continued to remain resilient in recent times; leveraging various digital platforms and innovative technology to ensure business continuity and uninterrupted dissemination of information to the market.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange recognises efforts made by the Board and Management of Lafarge Africa Plc towards achieving business continuity by improving operations and restoring investor confidence in the company.
Indeed, the growth recorded in the company’s 2020 Half-Year financial performance shows the strategic resolve and dedication of the Board and Management of this esteemed company. Despite challenging operating conditions in the country, it is noteworthy that Lafarge Africa Plc recorded a growth of 2.25% and 159% in revenue and profit after tax respectively from June 2019 to June 2020.
This laudable feat amongst other achievements earned the CEO of Lafarge Africa; Mr. Khaled El Dokani the recognition at the recent 6 th edition of the BusinessDay Top CEOs and Next Bull Awards which was hosted in collaboration with the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Let me also hereby congratulate the CEO and his team on this very well-deserved recognition.
The Exchange also commends the company’s efforts in curbing the spread of COVID-19 and its recent interventions and donations to support national efforts towards cushioning the effect of the pandemic on the Nigerian populace.
At the Nigerian Stock Exchange, we continue to provide a platform to support listed companies in meeting their strategic business objectives. We will continue to position ourselves as the African Exchange of choice for issuers and investors by implementing policies aimed at strengthening the corporate governance of our listed companies and providing products that are aligned to investors’ requirements in a fair and orderly market.
In the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic, The NSE transitioned to complete digital trading through its electronic platforms, including FIX Protocol, XNET and Virtual Private Network (VPN) access. We also launched a revamped version of our X-Issuer platform to enhance the continuous flow of relevant & reliable market information, and to enable stakeholders make informed investment decisions.
To cushion the impact of the pandemic and restrictions on business activities, we made provisions for palliatives to market stakeholders, this includes granting a sixty-day extension to Listed Companies on the filing of Audited and Quarterly Financial Statements; collaborating with the Securities and Exchange Commission to also extend the submission of Audited Financial Statementsfor all Dealing Member Firms.
In the bid to support the Government’s directives and efforts in the fight against COVID-19, the Exchange redeemed its pledge to the Capital Market Support Committee for COVID-19 (CMSCC) with the donation of an ambulance as well as Twenty-Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira (₦27.5M).
The Masks for All Nigerians campaign was also launched by The Exchange to galvanize private organizations and individuals to provide face masks to Nigerians nationwide, most especially low-income households.
We are proud to have received commitments from several Organizations, Associations and Individuals to achieve this laudable feat. On our value-added services, we introduced ‘SentryGRC’, a digital platform that automates back-office functions such as Governance, Risk Management and Compliance thereby enabling organisations to pursue a systematic and organised approach to managing GRC-related strategy and implementation in an efficient and cost effective manner.
More recently, The NSE X-Academy was accredited as an Educational Training Service Provider (ETSP) for the banking and finance industry by CIBN. This certification empowers X-Academy to provide professional and other forms of trainings to CIBN and practitioners in the banking industry as well as issue ethical and professional guidance to them.
With the fast-changing macroeconomic environment in Nigeria and globally, we encourage Lafarge Africa Plc to strive for sustainability by adhering to highest standards of disclosure and corporate governance. We believe that this will position the organization to attain deeper social impact, higher regulatory compliance, and more importantly, greater returns for shareholders.
We thank you, the invited guests, for your presence today and encourage you to participate fully during the interactive session. Ladies and Gentlemen, we now invite Lafarge Africa Plc to make their presentation.