Ellah Lakes Plc: Succeeding from refocusing strategic acquisitions under Chuka Mordi

Under the new management team, Ellah Lakes Plc restructured and diversified its operations from fisheries to oil palm cultivation and processing in 2019 after experiencing several years of worrisome operational performance.

The main business of Ellah Lakes since its inception has been the breeding and processing of freshwater fish. However, due to competition from fish importers and armed unrest in the Niger Delta region, the company has been forced to operate at a loss. The business reported a loss of about N10.788 million in August 2018, which resulted in the divestment of its fish division.

With the last entry palm oil cultivation, while adopting a sustainable and pan-African strategy, the company strives to capitalize on opportunities in palm oil by leveraging its core competencies and expertise.

About Ellah Lakes Plc

Ellah Lakes Plc was founded in 1980 by the late Senator FJ Ellah with a large fish farm and is headquartered in Benin, Edo State. It is the first agribusiness company to be publicly listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NGX).

Unrest in the Niger Delta region forced Ellah Lakes Plc to cease commercial operations in 2016 after engaging in fish farming, freshwater fish production and sales. Ellah Lakes then completed the acquisition of Telluria Farms in May 2019, which saw it shift its corporate focus to oil palm, cassava, corn and soy-based products. With the acquisition, Ellah Lakes now has 2,400 hectares of land dedicated to date palm growing and is currently working on establishing Staple Crop Processing Zones (SCPZ) in Nigeria.

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Achievement

  • Ellah Lakes believes it is working to achieve four of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by addressing food security issues, helping local farming communities and women’s smallholder farms, promoting gender balance in its executive team and promoting environmentally friendly production.
  • As of 2020, Ellah Lakes has expanded to establish a Staple Crop Processing Zone (SCPZ) and acquire 5,000 hectares in Ondo State and 5,000 hectares in Enugu for cultivation. rice, maize, cassava and soybeans.

Investor Relations

The company was listed on the Stock Exchange on January 14, 1993 and currently has a market capitalization of 7,200,000,000. Its financial report for 2022 is not yet available.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors includes:

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Olumide Akpata- Chairman

In 2019, Akpata took over from Rtd. General Zamani Lekwot as chairman. He graduated from the University of Benin Faculty of Law in 1992 and was admitted to the bar in 1993. At the law firm Templars in Nigeria, he became a senior partner and head of the corporate and commercial practice group. In July 2020, he was elected the first President of the Nigerian Bar Association who was not the Advocate General of Nigeria.

Chuka Mordi, Chief Executive Officer, MD and Director

Mordi is the CEO of Ellah Lakes Plc. He also serves as a non-executive director of CBO Investment Management Ltd, a member of The Chartered Bankers Institute of Nigeria, and serves on the board of CBO Capital Partners.

Prior to joining Nex Rubica Capital Ltd., Chuka Mordi held executive positions at FCMB Group Plc, Union Dicon Salt Plc and Union Dicon Salt Ltd. He has over 20 years of experience in investment banking, private equity investing and investment research. Mr. Mordy graduated from King’s College, University of London with a degree in philosophy.

Others:

  • Joe Attueyi-Director
  • Osaro Oyegun- Director
  • Enotie Ogbebor, Principal
  • Chijioke Dozie, director
  • Hauwa Nuru – Director
  • Nnenna Onyewuchi, Director
  • Shehu Abubakar – Director
  • Evans Gbubemi Jakpa-Director
  • Maxwell Oko – Director

It is important to mention the external stakeholders that influence the Nigerian Agricultural value chain as a whole and these include: Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) , Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) among others.

News

To promote rice, soybean and cassava production, Ellah Lakes Plc announced on September 8, 2022 that it has acquired the management and operations of Adarice farms and associated assets from the Enugu State Government. Ellah Lakes hopes to eventually expand cassava farming into the production of High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) and then Industrial Starch for the pharmaceutical industry and other agro-related businesses. Amid Nigeria’s maize deficit, plans are afoot to close the gap quickly.

The business is confident that its new business strategy will make it a significant player in the agriculture industry. However, new palm oil and OLAM may face stiffer competition from established players such as Okomu Oil and Presco Plc Nigeria. The company may need to update its strategies and continue to use the NSE to raise money to fund future expansion and compete favorably.

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