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Seplat: Omiyi takes over from Orjiako as shareholders approve $0.10/share dividend

Seplat Energy Plc has appointed Basil Omiyi as the company’s new independent non-executive chairman. He takes over from the founding chairman, Mr Bryant Orjiako, who…

Seplat Energy Plc has appointed Basil Omiyi as the company’s new independent non-executive chairman. He takes over from the founding chairman, Mr Bryant Orjiako, who stepped down after the 9th Annual general Meeting of the company held on Wednesday.

Omiyi, who has been a member of Seplat Energy’s board of directors since March 2013, became a senior independent non-executive director of the board in 2021.

Omiyi is also the independent non-executive chairman of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a subsidiary of Standard Bank Group.

Meanwhile the financial report of the Company for the year ended December 31, 2021 showed an increase in profit before tax of 197.8 percent to N34.7billion from N10.6billion year-on-year. The company also generated cash from its operations to the tune of N74.4 billion from N1.7billion year-on-year, rising by 197.8 per cent. The energy Company also grew its revenue by 58.6 per cent to N100.6 billion from N57.9 billion year-on-year; as its gross profit soared to N48.8 billion from N20.1 billion year-on-year, rising by 122.3 per cent.

While approving the financial statement, Shareholders also approved for the board to pay a final dividend of $0.10 per share.

Speaking to the shareholders, Dr. Orjiako said that “our operational and financial performance in 2021 reflects the challenges of our business in Nigeria. Our average working interest production was 47,693 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) including 29,091 boepd of liquids and 107.9 MMscfd of gas (18,602 boepd).” According to him, “Our robust operational performance, despite our operational challenges meant that we were able to meet our dividend commitment, and with the Board having approved a Q4 dividend of $0.025 per share, we once again returned $0.10 per share to our shareholders for the 2021.”

He pointed out that “Since we raised $535million at our initial public offering in May 2014, we have returned over $400million to shareholders in the form of dividends.”

He explained that the performance of Seplat’s oil business was impacted by two lengthy shut-ins at one of its third-party operated export routes, adding that it underscores the need for alternative export routes to mitigate the risk.

“We drilled five oil wells and three gas wells during the year; the oil wells have a combined gross potential of 17.5 kbopd and the gas wells have a combined gross rate of 130 MMscfd of gas and 5.2 kbopd of condensate. I am particularly proud of our strong safety record which saw us reach 24million hours without any Lost Time Injury (LTI) from our operated assets in 2021.”

He noted that the company introduced hydrocarbons into the Amukpe-Escravos Pipeline (AEP) and are poised to launch this alternate export route which will enable the company to evacuate up to 40 kbopd gross from our OMLs 4, 38 and 41. According to Orjiako, it is an achievement worthy of note as it translated into revenues of $733million and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $372million, up 38 per cent and 40 per cent respectively, from 2020, as the business recovered from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our cash position remained strong as we ended the year with $341million in cash and a net debt of $426million. We have certainly delivered on that vision of building a business that is now the leading Nigerian independent and a major provider of natural gas to the domestic market,” he added

He said his decision to retire as Chairman and Director of Seplat Energy is in fulfilment of a promise made long ago to have an Independent Non-Executive Chairman.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Energy company, Mr. Roger Brown in a statement said: “The energy industry in Nigeria has a bright future and as Nigeria’s indigenous energy leader we are going to be powering the country’s energy transition and future prosperity”.

Shareholders who spoke at the meeting were unanimous in their commendation of the board and management of Seplat for the impressive financial results.

“As the saying goes, there’s nothing that has beginning that doesn’t have an end. It is so painful to all shareholders that you have to leave at this point in time. You have done so well and so much for the entity called Seplat Energy,” noted Ayodele Kudaisi of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) on the decision of Mr Ojiakor to retire.

The national coordinator of ISAN, Dr Anthony Omoniyi Omojola, added that “Seplat Energy Plc is a reliable energy company with limitless potentials is not a mere statement. This has been aptly demonstrated in our performance in the 2021 annual report and accounts we are considering.”

Seplat Energy Plc is a leading indigenous Nigerian energy company with a strategic focus on Nigeria, listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange (“LSE”) (LSE:SEPL) and Nigerian Exchange Ltd (“NGX”) (NSE:SEPLAT).

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