PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS AT THE FORTH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF LEKKI COOPERATIVE MULTIPURPOSE SOCIETY LIMITED HELD ON 5TH MARCH 2016 AT SCAPULAR PLAZA, LEKKI LAGOS
I welcome all our distinguished representatives from the Directorate of Cooperative Societies, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Lagos State. Co-executives, esteemed members, friends and families to the 4th Annual General Meeting of Lekki Cooperative (Multipurpose) Society Limited.
I also show immense appreciation for the great work done by the creative leadership team in conjunction with the hardworking employees of this Cooperative; I am pleased to say that Lekki Cooperative has been very consistent in the early preparation and submission of our financial statement to the Lagos State Directorate of Cooperative Societies. The financial statement for the Year ended 31 December 2015 was prepared and submitted by the second week in January Year 2016.
These financial statements have now been audited and approved by our regulator. We are gathered here today to consider the financial statements, approve the dividend and other matters that define our Cooperative in the year 2016and going forward. The Financial Secretary will present highlights and facts behind the figures in due course.
Please permit me to highlight events that shaped our performances in the year under review as follow;
The performance of the global economy in 2015 was largely affected by the slow-down in China; lacklustre growth and deflation in the Eurozone; monetary policy normalization in the United States; and tumbling oil and commodity prices in emerging and oil producing countries. Oil prices nosedived and the Brent crude touched an 11-year low at $33.91.
At the domestic front, gains from the peaceful and successful national election, that represented the first time an incumbent president will lose election in Nigeria, was offset by delayed fiscal policy pronouncements and formulation of an economic team.
Nigeria’s position in 2015 can be described as being at “multiple crossroads” a nation at a junction in which it is faced simultaneously with political, economic, security and social uncertainties and in which multiple scenarios and possibilities co-exist.
Currency devaluation, higher interest rates, lower forecast GDP growth rate and weak financial markets all pointed to a tougher business environment as Nigerian businesses faced challenges sustaining profits and growth. 2015 was indeed a very difficult year, Inflation and the Naira’s exchange rate are the major challenges that the economy faced towards the end of the year. With inflation persistently closer to 10%, all static income has lost 40% of purchasing value.
The Nigerian All Share Index (ASI) shed -17.4% in 2015, slightly worse than the -16% we saw in 2014.The market slumped to a four-year low as the NSE ASI closed the year at 28,684 points due to political risk, currency volatility, and uncertainty in global crude oil prices. The NSE Banking Index was the worst hit plunging 23.6%, followed closely by the NSE 30 Index and NSE Main Board Index, both down 17.6%.
Your Cooperative was resilient in 2015. We foresaw the challenges businesses will face and deliberately slowed our activities in creating risk assets. We limited lending to friends and families in certain industry sectors; we minimized our exposure in the capital market, to protect against continuing depreciation of the Naira.
Outlook for 2016
The downturn from 2015, has already continued into the New Year. Accordingly, we anticipate 2016 to be another challenging year for financial service providers and thedomestic economy. However, we expect the policymakers to intensify strategies implemented to combat the effects of shrinking oil revenues on the Nigerian economy and its external position. We foresee the eventual devaluation of the naira or its outright floatation, to defend the foreign reserve of the country now at $27.8billion.
“We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow we lost” has become a trending quote attributed to the CEO of Nokia; Ziwad Jawab. Mr Jawab in an emotion-laden voice during the press conference that announced the acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft. These words brought tears from all the management team including himself. Nokia was once a giant telephone company that was oblivious of numbers and changing environments. They didn’t change or evolve with the dynamics of the business environment, technological trends and consumer tastes.
Organisations that will “not do anything” will find itself holding the short-end of the stick in 2016. Lekki Cooperative will continue to evaluate the economic space and to ensure we safely grow member’s wealth. Specifically Lekki Cooperative will evaluate the following cardinal points in 2016;
Income Earning Assets
Your Cooperative will maintain a diversified income stream including 4assset classes of Loans and advances to friends and families who meet the strict credit guidelines of your Cooperative, Fixed Income instruments including term deposits, treasury bills and bonds of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Equities quoted on the Nigeria Stock Exchange and Real Estate.
Staff Management & Development
Your Cooperative is committed to developing her staff through regular on the job and off-site training courses. The Cooperative takes staff appraisals seriously, we continuously challenge our staff to achieve their full potentials and we reward them accordingly through annual salary reviews and bonus sharing subject to targets of the Cooperative being achieved.
Your Cooperative in her bid to protect members’ funds is current with the trend and dynamics of the present economy state, engaged 2 Credit bureaus, and ensured that adequate measures are put in place to mitigate all risk. Default credit insurance is provided by a leading Insurance company with international affliation.
Once again, I welcome you to this occasion on behalf of the Executive Committee and Staff of Lekki Cooperative Multipurpose Society Limited. I confirm our total commitment to create enduring value and a legacy that would outlive this generation, amen.
Long Live Lekki Cooperative Society, Long Live Cooperative movement Lagos State, Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Itesiwaju Ilu Eko lo jewal’ogun