By Peter Egwuatu
TOTAL Nigeria Plc has berated the government over multiple taxes imposed on corporate entities by both the federal and local governments in the country, even as it declared N5.7 billion dividend for the financial year ended December 31, 2018.
Addressing shareholders at the 41st Annual General Meeting, AGM, in Lagos, the Chairman, Total Nigeria Plc, Mr. Stanislas Mittelman, said: “The regulatory environment continues to be demanding with the proliferation of taxes across the federal and local levels. Importation of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, was very difficult as the landing cost was higher than pump price and for most of the year, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, assumed the role of sole importer of PMS, importing about 91 percent of the country’s consumption. PMS unit margin is still a major source of concern as it remains grossly inadequate in comparison to rising cost of operations and investment.”
Continuing, he said: “The pattern remained the same in the previous year; we have continued to experience late payment of subsidies and late payment of interest and foreign exchange differential element of same. This has placed a huge financial burden on your company.
“The company has continued to experience sustained pressure on its cash flows due to late payment of subsidies, resulting in huge financial expenses.
“In spite of the difficult terrain, our results are indicative of the commitment of the board and management to growing shareholder values irrespective of operating challenges. The company’s turnover increased to N307 billion at the end of 2018 from N288 billion in 2017, while Profit After Tax, PAT remained stable at N7.96 billion compared to N8.01 billion in 2017.”
Responding, the shareholders commended the company for their efforts at maximising shareholders’ value, while calling on the government to concentrate on regulation and allow the marketers to operate in the industry with all fairness and in a way that will attract more investors into the market for the overall growth of the economy.