By Michael Eboh
Despite challenges in theÂ Â global and local economic landscape, Oando Plc has assured its shareholders of improved returns on their investments in the years ahead.
Speaking at its annual general meeting in Lagos, last week, Managing Director of the company, Mr. Adewale Tinubu noted that the company is focusing on the development and provision of certain infrastructure that is in high demand in the country and which will benefit the company in terms of improved earnings in the medium to short term.
He further stated that it plans to take advantage of opportunities presented by the passage of the Nigerian Content Bill and soon-to-be-passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly to increase its strides in the industry.
He said, â€œWe are very optimistic about 2010, especially as the industry expects to be repositioned by the much anticipated passage of the PIB and Nigerian Content Bill by the National Assembly.
â€œBoth bills are expected to increase our footprint in the industry, as it would present more opportunities for us to acquire more acreage from the International Oil Companies (IOCâ€™s) and farm-into under-performing assets that have near-term production profiles.
He stated that the company will continue to position itself as the preferred partner of choice to companies seeking entry into the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
According to him, the company is committed to increasing its current daily production to 10,000 barrel per day, and grow its reserves accordingly, to deliver increased shareholder value to its stakeholders, both locally and offshore.
The company, in its 2009 financial statements, recorded a turnover of N336.86 billion, representing a decline of 0.75 per cent from N339.42 billion recorded in 2009, its profit before tax rose by 25.8 per cent to N13.51 billion compared with N10.74 billion recorded in 2009, while its profit after tax appreciated by 21.1 per cent to N10.24 billion compared to N8.34 billion recorded in 2009.
The companyâ€™s proposed dividend of N3 per share and bonus of one ordinary share for every two ordinary shares, were approved by its shareholders at the annual general meeting.
On the future plans of the company, Tinubu said, â€œIn response to the dire delays and value destruction experienced at the Lagos ports, Oando has completed the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) of the Apapa Submarine Pipeline project. This initiative, approved by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), includes an ocean based single point mooring and subsea pipeling system which will reduce the congestion in the Apapa port and significantly increase the tank turns of the major marketersâ€™ existing storage.
â€œThe company believes there is growth potential for the Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) market in Nigeria, since LPG is a fully deregulated fuel suitable for both domestic and industrial use and is long established, well accepted but as yet, minor source of energy supply in Nigeria.
â€œWe intend to begin construction of the LPG storage facility in the second half of 2010. It is intended that the LPG storage facility will be completed in 2010 and will become operational in the same year.
â€œIn the midterm, we will develop and operate a state of the art refined product import teminal supported by the first privately operated Single Point Mooring system in Africa. The long term solution will be the multi-billion dollar development of the first Greenfield refinery development in Africa for over 20 years.
â€œThe first phase of the proposed 360,000 barrel per day refinery will satisfy at least, half of the nationâ€™s import requirement and enhance shareholdersâ€™ value with strong distillates exports to meet severe deficits in the Atlantic basin.