Chams PLC, has said that identity assurance programme implementations by public and private entities Nigeria has driven profitability for the leading identity management and payments system company in the country.
The company declared a Profit After Tax (PAT) of N188.5 million in the 2013 financial year as against N87.5 million in 2012.
Speaking at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos, Ayo Richards, Chairman of Chams said that, “Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become a key driver of economic activity in Nigeria and other developing markets. Remarkably, there is a huge gap to fill in the identity management infrastructure and solutions space which is our area of focus. Without filling this yawning gap, the payments transaction industry and economy at large cannot thrive.”
According to Richards, the identity assurance needs of the financial services industry, state governments, tertiary institutions and specialised government agencies accelerate the growth in issuance of identity cards and registration of citizens for record-keeping purposes.
The Chams Chairman added that, “there are many government-driven identity assurance programmes going on in Nigeria and they are with biometrics, one of our areas of specialty. We have the national identity programme by National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the Know-Your’s-Customer biometric registration programme for bank customers, as well as residency and smart identity card programmes being championed by some state governments. As a leading player in the identity assurance space, we are engaged with governments and relevant agencies to provide these identity management products and services.”
For Chams, the demand for identity management services will continue to grow due largely to local policy initiatives to increase inclusion; ongoing implementation of CBN’s Cashlite programme and digitization of commerce, which Richard said will “presenting future growth opportunities for us as a business.”
Ademola Aladekomo, Group Managing Director, Chams, added that “in spite of cost pressures and infrastructure challenges, especially in the area of power, Chams improved its 2012 performance by focusing on the core business of identity management and payments solutions in the 2013 financial year. We streamlined our business operations by vesting non-core functions such as the sales of payment card printers, access control and point of sales terminals in ChamsAccess Limited, a subsidiary of Chams PLC.
According to him, “priorities remain clear for the 2014 financial year, and they include upgrade of our card personalisation bureau to EMV certified standard, strengthening the strategic alliance with our partners in South Africa and Israel, and the achievement of 300 per cent profit growth. We are also determined to complete our ongoing restructuring across Chams Group, while also dedicating our energy towards delivering value to all stakeholders.”