NNDC Board Chairman Decries Harsh Business Environment

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John Shiklam in Kaduna

Chairman, board of directors of the New Nigeria Development Company ( NNDC), jointly owned by the 19 Northern states, Alhaji Bashir Mohammed Dalhatu has said that the harsh economic situation and the volatile business environment have impacted negatively on the performance of the company.

In an address at the 21st annual general meeting (AGM) of the company at its corporate headquarters in Kaduna at the weekend, he said the NNDC operated under severe business environment.

According to him, the continuous decline in the international price of crude oil, which led to a sharp decline in government revenue, leading to a significant reduction in foreign earnings and the unabated devaluation of the Naira against other major foreign currencies, made it very difficult to do business.
He stressed that the situation was further compounded by the activities of the Niger Delta Militants which impacted negatively on oil production for export.

According to him, the delay in the formation of the federal cabinet also led to capital flights as well as serious decline in foreign direct investment.

Dalhatu noted that the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), aimed at blocking leakages of government revenue, fight against corruption and removal of subsidy resulted in liquidity squeeze in the economy, pointing out that the over all impact of these policies on businesses was a decline in earnings as well as increase in cost of doing business.

He said however said that in spite of these challenges, the NNDC strived to attain a modest performance and has remained resolute and focused in achieving its set goals as set out in its five year strategic plan.
He disclosed that the company recorded a 3 per cent decline in income from N923.9 million in the previous year to N898.6million, which he attributed to lower dividend income.

He also said a 29 per cent decrease in operating profit before tax from N237.2 million to N167.9 million was recorded while the company was able to improve in its net share assets per share by 1.7 per cent from N18.5 per share to N18.8 when compare with the results of the year ended March 31, 2015 respectively.

He said despite the harsh economic condition, the company did not fail in its corporate social responsibility as it embarked on the development of quality manpower for the north and the country at large by promoting the NNDC Young Professionals Development Trust (NNDC/YPDT) for the training of young people in various professional skills such as accounting, Stock Broking, Insurance and Information Technology.

He expressed optimism about the next financial year, saying “it is anticipated that the various policies of government would have started having positive impact on the business environment.”