Julius Berger Now Strongly Strategised For Optimal Efficiency, Says MD Richter

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Bennett Oghifo

Julius Berger Plc., has advanced into a strong phase of growth and is now strongly strategised for optimal efficiency, increasing profitability and healthy shareholder value.

The company’s Managing Director, Dr. Lars Richter stated this at the company’s Annual General Meeting Thursday in Abuja, he also said that notwithstanding the challenges yet to be faced, Julius Berger’s confidence is bolstered by the company‘s robust order backlog and diversified portfolio which includes projects of national priority, funded reliably from outside the Federal Budget.

He said despite challenges in the building and construction sector of the Nigerian economy, construction giant, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc would continue to be in a strong position to succeed.

Julius Berger’s strength, he said is further reinforced by it‘s commitment to innovation and the pioneering of state-of-the-art construction technologies, and by its leading quality management systems, unmatched HSE performance, and highly skilled and dedicated workforce, adding that Julius Berger has a firm competitive edge in Nigeria’s construction sector, underpinned by it’s unbending pledge to quality, reliability and integrity.

Speaking on ongoing projects by Julius Berger, Richter said that since its flag-off in June 2018, considerable progress has been achieved on the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Road, adding that the company was working across all three road sections simultaneously.

He said, The objective is to deliver a timely solution for the complete rehabilitation of this key infrastructure which connects half of Nigeria’s population residing in the North to the rest of the country.“

The Managing Director said they had pioneered the use of cold recycling methodology, on the project and that this provides for the milled-off pavement to be recycled and improved for reuse in paving the base layer of the road. “This solution offers many social and environmental benefits… and leads to a more cost effective and timely road rehabilitation.

“Our strategy is to rollout this solution for other future projects… and we believe that as the pioneers of Cold Recycling methodology in Nigeria, that Julius Berger is in the position to revolutionise road rehabilitation across the nation.“

The Lagos-Shagamu Expressway, he disclosed has seen delays and even work stoppage in the past, due to funding challenges. However, Dr. Ritcher said that since the resumption of work, a steady pace of progress is being achieved.

He said considering that the expressway was now financed via the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, we presume that we will be able to achieve an uninterrupted pace of work with the new funding structure.

“It is widely understood that this road has a significant impact on the development of Lagos, on the nation’s economic advancement and on safety and quality of life for so many individual road users.

Julius Berger remains fully committed to completion of this complex project, for the benefit of all.“

On the Bodo-Bonny Road, the Chief Executive told shareholderst that in the past year, the company has also made progress on the construction of the Project.

Technically, the road is a massive and highly challenging undertaking with a scope of work comprising not only roads, but also several bridges and cross culverts… to be realized in a very tough natural environment, through low-lying marsh and swampy areas with tidal movements.

Socially and economically, the road is a milestone project for the advancement of the Niger Delta. As the first road link between the Island and the mainland, the Bodo Bonny Road will enable greater access for the development of infrastructure on Bonny Island, particularly in view of the NLNG Train 7 Project which we all hope will come on stream soon.

He added that as the first major contractor to enter Bonny Island over 20 years ago, Julius Berger has the experience and the technical knowhow to deliver the needed solutions the way and pace the company is working now.

On the Okpai Power Plant, Phase 2, Dr. Ritcher said that Julius Berger’s expansion into the Power Sector has proven successful.

He said this is because with the commissioning of the Azura IPP, the high potential tender for the Ikeja Power Plant, and the success we continue to achieve in carrying out our scope of work on phase 2 of the Okpai Power Plant.

The scope comprises mainly piling, foundation and infrastructure works for the extension of the existing power plant. Construction activities continue to meet client expectations as well as the highest Health, Safety and Environmental industry standards.

Besides, he said Julius Berger has been able to align itself as a strong logistics partner by handling the clearing, marine transport and land transport of the Plant’s Gas Turbine, adding, this was done via Julius Berger Services Nigeria’s Warri Port operations, together with Julius Berger’s land transport fleet.

Power is a key sector for the future of Nigeria and for Julius Berger. We now have the proven experience and knowhow to continue growing our portfolio in the sector.

Emphasising that In terms of mega-projects, Julius Berger’s latest project, Dangote’s Petroleum Refinery Project is clearly one where the company is proving its expertise, Dr. Ritcher said that Julius Berger has been successful in delivering the needed basic infrastructure within its scope of work, and due to good performance, have achieved additional scope.

Even as he highlighted the giant strides oft he company in several other spheres, the Managing Director was hopeful that Julius Berger will continue to strengthen ist core construction business, balancing drive for efficiency and effectiveness with commitment to a standard of excellence second to none.

He was thus quick to announce that I would like to mention that just last month, we have been awarded a substantial building project, the NSA headquarters in Abuja, further bolstering our portfolio of key acquisitions.

Stressing that as the company is in a phase of growth, our aim is to grow with efficiency in resource utilisation and administration, to ensure a strong profit and shareholder value. Furthermore, to remain competitive and cost effective, we will continue to engage in and build on strategic partnerships key to improving domestic procurement, where the required quality is available. We will continue to aggressively tender for high potential projects that fit to our strategy and strengths.

The landmark event inside the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre was awash with satisfied shareholders who ceaselessly applauded the encouraging progress Julius Berger has made compared to its fortunes in the not too distant past.