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BERGER EXPLAINS UNREST, ASSURES SHAREHOLDERS / News

The Management of a frontline paint manufacturing company, Berger Paints Nigeria Plc has assured The Nigerian Stock Exchange and the investing public that the peaceful demonstration by some sections of the staff over the exit date for gratuity would not have adverse effects on the company's operations. Following the new development on pension, the company's Board had earlier fixed December 2015 as the exit date for the gratuity but increased the employer's pension contributions and announced other allowances to boost staff morale. These were effected through constant dialogues with the staff's representatives. However, some sections of the staff are pressing for elongation of the exit date for gratuity. A statement signed by the company's Head, Human Resources and Admin, Mr Yemi Temision indicates that the whole essence of the new policy on gratuity is to ensure smooth operations and unfettered payment of salary and allowances despite the inclement operating environment. The statement notes that aside from the regular monthly salary, the staff enjoy a range of benefits designed to make their terms and conditions of service competitive. According to the statement, the Management would continue to keep an open door for more discussion with the staff's representative in order to ensure their understanding and appreciation of the efforts of the Board at moving the company forward despite the vagaries in the operating climate. By the statement, the company has assured the investing public that all the company's depots are operating optimally. Addressing the elated company's shareholders in Lagos recently, the Chairman, Dr Oladimeji Alo listed strategic initiatives such as depot outsourcing scheme, greater marketing support, digital presence, factory modernization and implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning System as some of the factors that enhanced the company's performance last year. Dr Alo explained that the initiatives which would be executed this year to further boost the company's revenue include commissioning the new automated factory, redesigning of packaging materials, and utilising ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) to expand presence in West Africa, beginning from Ghana. He commended the shareholders for their unflinching loyalty to the company and assured them that the company's strong human capital, continuous innovation and adherence to the highest standard of corporate governance would always position it to deliver shareholder value. Corroborating Dr Alo, the company's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Peter Folikwe explained that Berger Paints Nigeria Plc leveraged on quality products and this would continue to endear it to numerous consumers. Folikwe said that the immediate pre-occupation of the company was to sustain its aggressive distribution as there are many niche markets awaiting the company's products.

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