Our vision is to be a leading coy in Nigeria
Alfred Adem is the Group Managing Director and CEO of Benue Investment and Property Company. In this interview with journalists in his office recently, Mr Adem spoke on his targets and ways he is driving the vision of the company to the coast of reality.
Ques: How has your administration tried to realize the mandate, vision and mission of this organization since you took over?
Ans: The practical approach is there for all to see. BIPC was established as a holden company, it had not been able to achieve that until last year in 2018 when we were able to achieve that. The subsidiaries have been affiliated. The BIPC Micro Finance Bank is now fully functional, providing employments and financial inclusion to our brothers and sisters at the grassroots.
We have a state wide license; we started with the state office and a branch. We will extend to senatorial districts of the state and then gradually cover all local government areas. The BIPC Energy and Solid Minerals Company is fully functional. They are the ones that handle BIPC oil and gas stations where ever they are located; they handle our solid mineral business, like the mineral buying center in Gboko, the quarry site in Ushongo and several others like that. The Federal Government Mineral Buying License also belongs to the BIPC so the Energy and Solid Mineral Company is fully functional, the BIPC Hotel, Tourism and Hospitality is a subsidiary that encompasses our hotel in North Bank here in Makurdi, the one in Kaduna, Lagos and we are also pursuing other tourism potentials that will unfold as the year moves on.
We are working on our Commodities Company too, because when we came in here we diversified so that we can motivate strings of income. We are major players in soya beans; we have our Memorandum of Understanding with Flour Mills Nigeria plc. We supply soyabeans to them, which is what their oil producing subsidiary uses for soya oil, Seraph Oil located here in Benue commission and of course that ensures that their funds are secured, not going to the wrong hands , those who have properties around here too will come and register then we will help them as intermediaries to get buyers or manage those properties on their behalf. These are the different constituents we have tried to create. has also contacted us that they want us to be doing same for them. Those are some of the areas we have diversified to. In the real estate and infrastructure, that is the BIPC Properties and Management. What we are doing to generate income and reach the grassroots is dealing with our Diaspora brothers to help them get their properties here. Build or acquire for them at a very minimal commission and of course that ensures that their funds are secured, not going to the wrong hands , those who have properties around here too will come and register then we will help them as intermediaries to get buyers or manage those properties on their behalf. These are the different constituents we have tried to create.
We also have plazas here and there that we give out with very favorable negotiations; we have equally set up our Abuja corporate office that needs to be liaising with embassies and other multinationals. So much is happening at the centre, you need to be on ground to actually follow up in business because there are so many businesses both local and international that have passed us by as a result of not been on ground so we don’t want that to pass us by this year.
As an investment company, BIPC has to generate. As the economic driver of the state, we need to stabilize the economy of the state. But we also need to make profit in order to sustain the organization because we don’t have any grant or subvention. We have to generate much because it’s only net that you can use to run your activities and pay your salaries and we have done that effectively and BIPC is expanding as it is today. Staff morale is high as we are meeting all obligations, stabilizing things in the state. The pilot programme on the test run on the commodity prices, how to stabilize commodity prices in such a way that our farmers are not exploited is successfully on now. Because before now people will come from outside and take advantage of them but with little money of 50kobo, 1naira over the price that was offered them we have been able to stabilize the market.
Then we have our housing estates coming up. The prototype for the Nyor Gyungu Housing Estate along George Akume way is out too. It’s a 30 unit housing estate. Then we have other ones coming up that are supposed to have 500 units and we already have off takers from the senior staff of the Benue State University. That of Federal Medical Centre Makurdi have also indicated interest, we also have Motorcycle Riders and Owners Association, Cabs Association who all have indicated interest in having some of those low cost houses that they can pay over a period of time. We are doing all those things to cushion all effects and we are working on some products both at the group level and at the micro finance level so that we can take up certain unit products, this is to help us impact on our civil servants so that by the time they leave service, they will have a place they can call their own.
And for those in the agricultural sector, we are already working on their cases so that they can have access to some of these packages at reduced prices, with this they can pay conveniently where deductions can be done at source, at least their salaries are stable for now and they will continue so. By and large, BIPC has expanded and grown and by the time we are celebrating our 40th anniversary you will hear of additional achievements.
Ques: What plans do you have for the tourism sector apart from your hotels, given the fact that Benue state is naturally endowed with natural resources?
Ans: Certainly, there are great plans for the sector because there’s no reason why in a rich cultural heritage state like this there should be no museum that show cases the Tiv, Idoma and Igede Culture where people will come in and get historical facts that go way back to 1804 where some wars came and stopped here. The Ikyogen cattle ranch is one of the projects we have requested for the title to be handed over to us, because you need that before you can act up to the people who are interested. We have made contacts with people who are greatly interested in tourism, Kenya and Dubai because they get their revenue largely from tourism but we need to get documents that will help us negotiate further. We are working hard towards making the tourism industry work in Benue state and by the time we are done with paper work, everything will work again WV