Flour power

Coronavirus: Flour Mills of Nigeria to help in fight against COVID-19

In depth
This article is part of the dossier: Corona Chronicles: 4 May – 7 May

People wearing face mask to protect them self from coronavirus walk on the street in Lagos Nigeria, Monday May 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

One of Nigeria’s biggest food businesses, the Flour Mills of Nigeria, is deploying N400m worth of food relief packages to vulnerable communities as part of its N2bn support in the fight against coronavirus in a country of nearly 200 million people.

The agro-allied group is also providing $1.5m worth of medical supplies including testing kits, 331,000 pieces of PPEs, 75 ventilators, among others to help “Nigeria rapidly beef up the Nigerian COVID-19 testing capability,” the company’s top official said to The Africa Report.

Private sector Coalition Against COVID-19

“FMN [Flour Mills of Nigeria] has to date, contributed over N2bn in the fight against COVID-19. This contribution is made up of N1bn in cash as part of the Private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) and another N1bn in food relief materials and medical equipment,” said Boye Olusanya, the Group Chief Executive Officer.

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“Given the present global health crisis, our primary CSR [Corporate Social Responsibility] focus is on combating COVID-19 and supporting medical research on the virus. To this end we have committed N2bn towards this cause,” he continued.

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He added: “Our food relief program with an expense value of N400m was executed in coordination with state government agencies for onward distribution to the most vulnerable communities in those states. FMN donated essential food products including several truckloads of Semovita, Goldenvita, Golden Penny Pasta, Noodles, Dawavita and Masavita to 11 states in the program in fulfilment of our corporate mission of ‘Feeding the Nation, Everyday’.”

“On the medical supplies for testing kits, PPEs and ventilations we have expended $1.5m including air freight costs. This is perhaps our most important achievement within our comprehensive COVID-19 response given the extraordinary planning resources, global supply chain network and complicated logistics it took to deliver the supplies to the Nigerian government,” Olusanya said.

The company’s business standing

The food company recently posted improved financial results for the nine months ending 31 December 2019, posting N423.48bn in revenue for the nine months in 2019; a six percent increase compared with N400.64bn posted in the corresponding period of 2018.

The company’s profit before tax  rose marginally from N11.278bn to N12.292bn in 2019, while profit after tax rose from N7.896bn to N8.161bn, according to FMN’s financial statements.

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The flour company issued a N20bn bond last month as part of the company’s N70bn Bond Issuance Programme, to refinance its short-term debt obligation, as it seeks to make its shareholders happy.