Shareholders of Total Plc have stressed the need for the government to improve the efficiency of the downstream oil sector by reviewing its policies and regulations to grow the companies and attract more investment.
The shareholders, who spoke at the company’s 42nd Annual General Meeting (AGM), held in Lagos, said despite the claims that deregulation has commenced, the sector has not recorded any significant improvement as regards Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol importation.
Besides, the shareholders at the meeting approved the payment of N2.278 billion as a total dividend for the 2019 financial year.The shareholders commended the company’s board and management for being resilient in the face of the challenging operating environment and appreciated the dividend payment, which was coming at the right time in view of current economic realities.
The total dividend translates to a dividend per share of N6.71 per share for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Specifically, a former General Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association, Adebayo Adeleke, decried the Federal Government’ deregulation of the downstream sector, saying the government is still the sole importer of PMS in Nigeria.
According to him, the government still fixes the price of the commodity and determines prices it sells to depot owners, which are a disincentive to investment and an impediment to economic growth and development of the country.
“They should allow market forces to determine so that we can attract investment into this country. You cannot be a monopoly in the importation and say you are deregulating. There is no level playing ground.”