Ademola Aladekomo, the chairman of Chams Plc, a computer and hardware maintenance company, disclosed that his firm incurred a $100 million loss in a national identification (ID) card project involving the federal government.
Aladekomo attributed the loss to the federal government, stating that the authorities had made it extremely difficult for the company during the project.
Disputes between the government and Chams over the project have persisted since 2015, with Mastercard also being involved.
The federal government accused the Nigerian company of poor performance, while Chams blamed the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) for the project’s failure, which aimed to issue national identity cards.
Chairman laments $100 million loss
Providing an update to shareholders during the company’s ‘Facts Behind the Figures’ presentation at the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), Aladekomo noted that the loss had led Chams to refrain from accepting any government-related projects in the future.
“We unfortunately got into the National ID debacle, from which we lost about $100 million due to the government, I don’t want to say irresponsibility or something like that,” Aladekomo remarked.
He further explained that shareholders had initially supported the project due to Chams’ technological expertise, particularly in pioneering an e-payment system and identity management, which included work with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
However, Aladekomo stated that the government’s actions had made the project financially unviable for the company.
As a result of this loss, Chams faced bankruptcy but was later rescued after securing and delivering the bank verification number (BVN) project for Nigerian banks.
The company has since shifted its focus away from government-related projects and now primarily deals with consumer and digital initiatives in Nigeria and plans to expand into West Africa by 2024.