The Chairman, Total Nigeria Plc, Mr Stanislas Mittelman, has said the company envisages that 2018 will provide opportunities for growth, investment and consolidation.
Mittelman stated this at the company’s 40th Annual General Meeting in Lagos, where shareholders approved a final dividend of N4.75bn proposed for the financial year ended December 31, 2017, representing N14 per share.
The company had earlier distributed the sum of N1.02bn as interim dividends, representing N3 per share.
The chairman described 2017 as an arduous year for the company and the nation, saying security remained a major concern.
“We commenced the year in a recession (the first in 25 years) with inflation at 18.9 per cent and we saw a near 40 per cent devaluation of the naira.”
He said the state of the foreign exchange market had a serious adverse impact on the company’s ability to do business and imposed severe costs on key sectors of the economy which further cascaded into all areas of the economy.
Mittelman said the upturn in oil prices in 2017 impacted on the cost of importing Premium Motor Spirit.
He said, “In 2017, the price of Platt was high, making importation of PMS difficult as the landing cost was higher than pump price. The capacity of oil traders to import products was greatly diminished. In most of 2017, NNPC assumed the role of sole importer of PMS. This led to supply challenges and of course PMS shortages.
“Notwithstanding, the pump price remained N145 per litre throughout 2017. Since June 2016, it has not been possible to directly buy dollars from the upstream sector and this has made doing business difficult for us as we have challenges procuring dollars for the importation of Automotive Gas Oil and Aviation Turbine Kerosene.”