The Chairman Board of Directors of New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) Limited, Tanimu Yakubu has said the Company Shareholders would receive dividends after a very long period.

Tanimu Yakubu stated this while presenting the financial statement of the company during its 52nd Annual General Meeting held in Kaduna on Friday 27 August, 2021.

He said, in recognizing the results for the period under review, the Directors proposed for approval:

1. Appropriation of gross Dividend of N100 million at the rate of 20 kobo per share based on earnings per share of 55 kobo; and

2. Additional appropriations of N15 million each for the Young Professional Development Trust and Musa Bello Learning Resource Center Funds respectively.

Commenting on the progress achieved by the company during the year under review, the Chairman noted that, turnover stood at N854.13 million against the corresponding period’s figure of N637.24 million which represents an increase of N216.90 million or 34%. Operating expenses for the period under review stood at N580.91 million as against the preceding year’s figure of N643.84 million giving a favourable variance N62.93 million or 9.8%. Pre-tax profit for the year ended 31st March, 2020 stood at N273.22 million against the corresponding period’s pre-tax loss of N6.61 million. Shareholder’s funds stood at N14.70 billion as at 31st March, 2020.

Yakubu stated that the company will continue to manage investments in associate and quoted companies with a view to optimizing returns while pursuing an optimal management strategy for the subsidiary companies. He added that the nominal value of NNDC quoted investments stood at N761.02 million as against their combined market value at N6.26 billion as at March 31, 2020.

On Manpower Development, the Chairman said, the Young Professionals Development Trust will continue to produce professionals in Accountancy, Stock Broking, Insurance and ICT whose primary aim is to develop Manpower Resources within Owner States. He said, “Staff development has continue to receive our encouragement and support.

We remain more than ever committed to the empowerment of our employees whom we recognize as our most important asset”.

The Chairman said, as part of efforts to re-position and re-brand the company. best practice of good corporate governance are being put in place in NNDC. He said, in 2020 the NNDC Board approved the review of the NNDC Memorandum and Articles of Association (MEMART) in line with the current structure of the Company, and to comply with the recently amended Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 as well as to reflect the recommended practices of the Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance (NCCG).

Yakubu further said the Office of the Company Secretary/Legal Adviser was redesigned to include the additional responsibility of Chief Compliance Officer. In addition, a Code of Ethics and Business Conduct have been developed for the NNDC Group.

He added that, NNDC Board Committees have also been restructured in line with the NCCG as follows;

A. Nominations, Remuneration and Governance Committee

B. Strategy, Finance and Planning Committee; and

C. Audit, Compliance and Risk Management Committee.

On the future outlook of the company, the Board Chairman, said, “We will continue to initiate measures aimed at utilizing emerging business opportunities in the global economic landscape”. This requires partnering with local and international entities that will enable the company to turn around its fortune, improve company net worth and meet stakeholder’s reasonable expectations.

Yakubu also said, “NNDC intends to go well beyond upstream activities in our four (4) hydrocarbon blocks in the Benue Trough (OPLs 809 and 810) and Chad Basin (OPLs 722 and 733). NNDC will therefore venture into power generation, gas processing and other midstream activities with the private sector in the lead”.

Earlier on, the Chairman reflected on the Operating Environment, saying that the Q4 2020 result is a reflection of economic realities (though recovering but still weak) which is largely attributed to the reopening of economic activities in almost all sectors of the economy. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report for Quarter 4 2020 shows that the Nigerian economy grew by 0.11% in real terms from a negative of -3.2% in Q3 2020. This represents the first positive quarterly growth since the 1st Quarter of 2020. For the full year 2020, the annual growth of real GDP was estimated at -1.92%.

Finally, he added that, the full year 2020 GDP of -1.92 percent was largely attributed to the global COVID-19 pandemic, but we must know the Nigerian economy was already undergoing issues such as rising inflation, increasing unemployment, escalating debt service cost, among other macroeconomic issues before the pandemic.