End Portland stalemate [Business Daily (Kenya)]
(Business Daily (Kenya) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Reports that the East Africa Portland Cement Company (EACC) has returned to profitability are refreshing.
Portland, as the company is popularly known, is Kenya's second-largest cement producer and therefore a key industry player.
More importantly, there is also significant public interest in the company given the substantial shareholding by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
That it posted a net profit of Sh1.77 billion for the year to June 2013 compared to a loss of Sh972 million in the same period a year earlier is testimony to its potential for growth.
Unfortunately, a fresh feud involving the board on the one hand and Industrialisation secretary Adan Mohamed on the other over the contract of the CEO threatens to derail efforts to turn around the company.
The problem seems to stem from the conflicting interpretations of either party's powers with respect to approving the renewal of the CEO's contract, a complex board membership structure in which the government's role is not quite clear and local politics.
Hopefully, all these issues will be addressed if and when the corporate governance changes recommended by the Parastatal Reforms Task Force come into force.
In the meantime, the Portland board and the Industrialisation minister must put the interest of the company first and find a way out of the standoff.
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