SIFAX Group has revealed that it downsized 10% of its staff as a result of the tough economic times which had seen the company’s revenue dip by 25% in the first half of 2016.
MMS Plus confirmed this during a press conference organized by SIFAX to brief journalists on the company’s mid-year achievements as well as the challenges and prospects in Lagos yesterday.
SIFAX’s Group Managing Director, Mr. John Jenkins lamented that the first half of 2016 had been very challenging business times for SIFAX. He noted that the challenge of sourcing foreign exchange was one of the major problems confronting the company’s customers.
“The first half of the year has been very challenging for all businesses in the country. The previous very stringent control of the foreign exchange regime played a lot of role in the underperformance of various businesses.
“But things are gradually changing as the effect of the new forex policy is beginning to show and we are convinced that the second half of the year will be a lot better” He said.
Jenkins also noted the activities of companies in the group in the first half of the year were adversely affected by the lack of power supply in the country and the poor state of the port access roads.
According to Jenkins, Ports and Cargo Handling Services Limited recorded 10% drop in container throughput and 50% drop in the volume of general cargoes handled at the facility when compared with the figures in 2015.
Jenkins said SIFAX Haulage and Logistics Limited recorded approximately 20% decline in volume in the first half of the year, despite signing new business deals with some new clients.
On the SIFAX Offdock, Jenkins revealed that its inland container depot subsidiary with three terminals in Okota, Trinity and Ijora, Lagos, recorded 54.11% increase for received containers while deliveries improved by 50.23%.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Ports & Cargo, Alhaji Mohammed Bulangu remained optimistic that despite the decrease in profit, the terminal remains committed to rendering quality services to its customers.
He said, “As the flagship of the group, if we sneeze, the other subsidiaries will catch cold. We don’t have issues with our clients or any complains.
Bulangu’s optimism is hinged on the liberal foreign exchange policy recently announced by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria as he believes it would create a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
Efforts by MMS Plus to ascertain how much the company had lost due to the harsh economic times were futile as the GMD jealously guarded the figures.
However, the question on the lips of most stakeholders is- why are terminal operators quick to tell the public when they make losses when they never make their profits overt?