, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – The government on Monday announced the appointment of William Lay as the new Chairman of the East Africa Portland Cement Company (EAPCC), replacing Mark ole Karbolo.
Making the announcement, Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Principal Secretary Wilson Songa said this was a move to streamline operations at the company and marks a strategic shift in the operations of the cement manufacturer.
“EAPCC is one of our parastatal that we rely on heavily to contribute to our industrialisation agenda. We really want to see it more productive than we have seen in the recent past; We know it can do much more and that’s why the government is doing whatever possible to make sure we get it back on track for it to deliver the stakeholders’ expectations,” Songa said.
He said that the government will ensure that the company continues to take advantage of the major trends in East Africa.
“There are for instance, over $100 billion planned infrastructure projects in East Africa alone. That presents a significant opportunity that we must take advantage of,” noted Songa.
Speaking when he assumed his new role at the company’s Athi River headquarters, Lay said: “My intention is to work for the interests of all shareholders, employees and the community and I will work closely with the board and management to ensure that the company runs profitably and sustainably.”
“It’s a very simple job; the job is to make sure that the shareholders the employees and the wider group of stakeholders in this business work together as a team to improve market share profitability, competitiveness, market access those issues that will make EAPCC successful on a sustainable basis,” he said.
He promised to make EAPCC the number one cement company in East Africa.
“I will in coming days be reaching out to all shareholders so that we can chart the future of this company together and I will tap into my experience and background acquired over many years in the private sector to steer this company to its rightful place in the cement industry,” he said.
Songa said the Managing Director Kephar Tande – who was absent during the announcement – had promised to work with the new chairman to steer the company forward.
This comes as the Capital Markets Authority launched investigations in December into claims of creative accounting and breach of corporate governance rules as well as the conduct of the company’s board members.
The Treasury and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) who jointly own 52 percent of the firm have questioned the accuracy of its books of accounts as well as the conduct of Karbolo, Tande and other directors.