CHAIRMAN of the African Newspapers of Nig. Plc, Reverend (Mrs) Omotola Oyediran, and other shareholders expressed their appreciation to the management and staff of the company for their commitment to its success.
The chairman, who was speaking at the 40th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company held, on Tuesday, at the Ikenne home of the Awolowos, said, “We heartily thank the management and entire staff of the company for their dedication and commitment to the success of the company.”
In her address to the shareholders on the performance of the company in the year ended June 30, 2016, Rev. Oyediran lamented the impact of the vicissitude in the economy on the nation’s business climate.
According to her, “The continuous dependence of Nigerian economy on oil revenue remained critical to the economic outlook. The decline in the international price of crude oil led to a decline in government revenue resulting in significant reduction in foreign currency reserves and the devaluation of the Naira. Therefore, the drastic drop in oil prices as well as incessant upheaval and conflict in the Niger Delta area remained a stumbling block to political and economic stability of the country. Thus, the business environment of the country remained challenging in the 2015/2016 financial year.”
The chairman added that consequent upon the country’s hostile socio-political situation, “Cost of doing business in Nigeria increased astronomically during the year under review. You are all living witnesses to the fact that transportation and fuelling of cars are at cut throat prices. Power supply has not considerably improved hence generators remain indispensable in the daily operation of any business that wants to continue in operational existence in the economy. It had been extremely difficult if not unbearable to secure foreign exchange for the purchase of quality newsprints and other daily needs for the operations of the company.”
Explaining the reason behind the decision to keep the cover price of Tribune newspapers unchanged in the face of galloping production cost, the chairman said, “During the last financial year, competitors in the newspaper industry increased the cover prices of their products. The board of directors of your company approved the recommendation of the management that the cover price of your Tribune should not be increased to maintain the philosophy of the Founders.”
Speaking on efforts to position the company for improved performance, Reverend Oyediran told the shareholders, “You would recall that I reported to you last year that your company embarked on construction work on the Tribune House in Abuja. I am indeed glad to inform you that in a matter of days your Tribune House project would be commissioned in Abuja. With the printing of your Tribune titles in Abuja, your paper would now get to the northern market promptly. In addition, other income would be generated to your company as much as possible.”
The chairman then thanked the management, led by Mr. Edward Dickson, for its doggedness in the pursuit of the completion of the project.
In their response, the shareholders thanked both the board and the management for providing quality leadership for the company.
Mr. J.A. Bello, a shareholder, praised the management and staff for sustaining the legacy of the Founders and urged them to continue.
Chief M. A. Lawal, another shareholder, praised the managerial acumen of both the board and management for keeping the company afloat in spite of the difficulty in the economic environment.
In his own contribution, Alhaji Abdulwaheed Jawando, urged the company to stay strong and work towards improving its circulation.
Alhaji Jimoh Adeogun Ogunnusi praised the Founders for their foresightedness in establishing the company and advised both the board and management not to deviate from that. He also praised the company for sponsoring his pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
Honourable Adebowale Oke moved the motion for the adoption of the financial reports. This was seconded by Chief (Mrs) C. O. Olutunnda.
All the directors; Reverend (Mrs) Omotola Oyediran, Dr Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosumu, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Bayo Fadoju, Dr Segun Olatunji and Mr Edward Dickson, were re-appointed to the board through a motion moved by Mr Adegboyega Oyinlola.
Similarly, the Audit Committee members were re-appointed.
Both OlutunndaTaiwo Olaniyi, a Law student at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye; and Moriamo Chinyere Badaru, an English student at the University of Abuja; who are wards of shareholders, were awarded scholarships on the platform of the Dideolu Scholarship Scheme instituted by the company.
Some long-standing shareholders were recognised. They include Alhaji Alawaye Salmon, Alhaji Ali Kolawole Salim, Alhaji Abdulwahab Jawando, Alhaji Aralawon Sakiru and Alhaji Oladeinde Rasak. They were decorated with garlands by the company co-chairman, Dr Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosumu.
Earlier, the chairman had called for a minute silence in honour of Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, who she described as a close friend of the Awolowo family and the company.
The event was graced by directors, shareholders as well as management staff of the ANN Plc.