Former vice president and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential flag bearer in the last general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has taken a step to centralize his enterprises. The business mogul announced migration of all his business outfits into an umbrella brand known as the Priam Group.
The new arrangement means that all the businesses connected to Atiku will now be run under one brand and management.
Atiku runs a conglomerate consisting of many businesses across several sectors of the economy which covers agriculture, manufacturing, media, banking, logistics, education, printing, eateries, beverages, real estate and animal food processing.
Atiku’s media aide, Paul Ibe disclosed in a statement that Priam Group will take over assets and liabilities of the existing companies and all their activities.
“Atiku believes that this process of restructuring will bring operating efficiency, cost control and good corporate governance to the group of companies and will also allow it to focus on future growth opportunities.
“To this end, Priam Group has completed its feasibility study for the construction of a rice milling company by the River Benue in Adamawa and has plans to (by June 2020) commission its Abuja animal feeds factory after some delays in getting the factory equipment.
“The group is also looking to actively expand its bottling capacity to cover whole of the north and is investing in expanding its logistics fleet to service the future capacity expansion. The future plans also entail having a larger footprint of its chicken cottage brand and wider reach for its Television channel by going on satellite.
“Given the challenges associated with the processes of this kind of restructuring, it is not uncommon that some of the companies which migration has yet to be perfected will experience some difficulties in carrying out their day to day mandates.
“It is also not unexpected that a restructuring procedure of this size and nature would come with some likely job rationalization, marketing, human resources and ancillary support operations which would now be consolidated and undertaken at the group level.
“In specific reference to some of the news reports in the media regarding Gotel Communication – Gotel TV and radio have been migrated to the Priam Group.
“The Group structure is the one responsible for the salaries of workers in the two media outfits. What is, however, being experienced now is the teething problems associated with the integration, with Gotel being a late entrant to the process. It will ease out. Already payment of outstanding salaries commenced on the 24th of December” The statement said.
The centralization idea is considered a lifeline in a time of economic downturn that is testing the stability of every business in Nigeria. Many are seeking ways to stay in business: cutting down workforce, minimizing expenses or underpaying workers.
Atiku’s businesses are not immune to the plights of other companies in the country. For instance, in 2016, Gotel Communications Limited laid off 120 workers of Gotel TV and Radio Stations Yola, that’s 50 percent of the organization’s workforce.
The development affected the 24 hours service offered by the Gotel TV and Radio stations, so that they can only offer 19 hours service daily, from 5 a.m. to 12 p.m. the same downsizing of workforce happened in Adama Beverage Limited, producers of Faro water and juice.
And so it has been with Intels Nigeria Limited. The Nigeria’s largest logistics company has been struggling due to the downturn in the oil industry. The company provides logistics services for the Nigerian oil and gas industry. It also offers agency services; cargo services; port management and support services in shore bases. Intels also provides equipment, including cranes, forklifts, pipe handlers, generators, trucks, trailers, port facilities, equipment and personnel services.
But due to the drop in import businesses in Nigeria, the company has been struggling to maintain the standard it has been known for. Therefore, the need to explore other methods becomes necessary for the companies to stay in business. And it appears that the measure taken back then (cutting down workforce) failed to yield the needed result, pushing the business tycoon to take more drastic measures to salvage his conglomerate.