Chams Cuts Ties with Govt Over $100m Debt

Leading provider of integrated identity management, Chams Holdings Plc, has said that it is no longer working with the government and government-owned entities following a $100m debt it said it incurred as a result of government shortcomings.

This was revealed by the chairman of the group, Demola Aladekomo, at their Facts Behind The Figures presentation at the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Thursday.

Addressing capital market stakeholders, Aladekomo said: “The major project that you all supported us to get done, based on the antecedents that you saw, after we pioneered e-payment system and other technologies and we just delivered the Independent National Electoral Commission project at that time (failed). Unfortunately, we got into the National ID debacle from where we lost about 100 million dollars due to the government irresponsibility, I don’t want to say. The government made life impossible for the company, leading to a $100m loss. We came to the exchange and told them what was happening. That created a lot of issues for us. We practically lost all the money you gave us at that point in time.

“What the management has done in the past few years is to stabilise the company and for the past six quarters, we started growing rapidly. Then the vision changed. We no longer deal with the government. We only deal with consumer projects; that means serving you. We deal only in digital projects and we are looking at Nigeria and Africa. In the next couple of months, we would have covered Nigeria and then we can focus on West Africa. We have avoided anything to do with the government apart from our regulators.”

On her part, the Group Managing Director, Chams HoldCo, Mrs Mayowa Olaniyan, whilst describing the firm’s half-year results as impressive and improved, said that the company planned to finish the financial year on a strong note with three-digit year-on-year growth from expanded business activities and emerging opportunities within the group.

Olaniyan revealed on the company’s outlook that Chams HoldCo aimed to consolidate cost-optimisation measures within the group and cross-selling synergies to sustain its bottom-line performance.

She said: “We are poised for innovation that will revolutionise the payment and technology industry with fast, secure and reliable platforms. We have plans to expand product lines through collaborations and partnerships.

“The company will seek support from stockbrokers, NGX and advisors in assessing additional capital in tranches via right issues.”

According to her, the capital raise was endorsed by shareholders in 2022.

Meanwhile, The Divisional Head, Capital Markets, NGX, Mr Jude Chiemeka, commended the leadership of Chams Holding Plc for engaging stakeholders and sustaining transparency.

Recall that in August 2015, the National Identity Management Commission denied being responsible for the downturn in the fortunes of Chams and lambasted Aladekomo, who had made the accusation in an interview.

NIMC said: “The National Identity Management Commission categorically denies all the allegations in the report and reject in its entirety the provocative and disrespectful attempt by the Mr. Aladekomo led Management of Chams Plc to blame NIMC for its poor performance which has resulted in the reported shut down of Chams City Project operations, perhaps including the suspension of the Chams Plc shares from trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange sometime ago.”