Portland Cement MD says corruption to blame for technical insolvency

East African Portland Cement (EAPCC) has set out to stamp out corruption from its operations to boost profitability.

This comes in the wake of the cement maker dropping into a negative equity position with its liabilities exceeding the value of its assets.

Newly appointed Managing Director Simon Peter Ole Nkeri has alluded to the fact that corruption and inefficient structures have led the firm to its precarious position.

Sharing on his Facebook page on Monday, Mr ole Nkeri said unless the rampant corruption is addressed the firm may run the risk of having to shut down.

“As we fight against these nightmares, the corruption cartels are already fighting back to derail the process of turning around EAPCC and to scamper our bid to turn around its fortunes. We are alive to such malpractices and corruption cartels and networks but we shall not relent to redeem EAPCC and to seek to re position it as a key market leader in the industry.

An audit of the cement maker’s financials show that its current liabilities stand at Sh4.96 billion while its assets stand at Sh2.1 billion.

Portland Cement had delayed the release of its full year results until last Friday pending the reevaluation of its assets.

During the year under review the company saw its profit dip to Sh4.2 billion from Sh7.2 billion a year earlier.

Mr Ole Nkeri said immediate focus would be to ensure break the corruption cartel.

He sought the intervention of the government and other shareholders to restore sanity to the company’s operations.

“We need the support of the board, the National Government, shareholders and other stakeholders to turn around the fortunes of EAPCC. So help us God,” he said.

The National Social Security Fund owns a 27 percent stake in Portland Cement while the Treasury holds anther 25 percent directly. Larfage owns the remaining 41.7 percent of the company.