12 June 2017

Africa: We Don't Plan to Divest African Business, Says Total

Total Nigeria Plc has restated its commitment not to withdraw or divest its Africa business, but to continue to strengthen and grow its market share within the continent.

Besides, the firm also unfolded plans to consolidate its solar business by developing solar solution hybrid for manufacturing industries with their existing power generation system, which could to either electricity or generators.

The Chairman of the company, Stanislas Mittelman, while fielding questions from journalists at the end of its 2016 yearly general meeting, in Lagos, at the weekend, said Total has no intention of withdrawing its business from Nigeria or Africa.

He noted that Africa, and France, constitute its core business activities especially the downstream business, adding that Total would continue to invest in the Nigerian and African businesses to grow its market share and boost profitability.

"International competitors made strong choices years ago to withdraw from Nigeria, for them to raise loan from Africa, as far as Total is concerned, we made an opposite strategy, we keep investing in Africa.

"Today, Africa is of course for France, a core of our business especially the downstream business; we are by far the market leader in Nigeria and in the rest of Africa. Our ambition is not to withdraw or divest but to grow with all our strength.

"We are presently developing our solar business with ambition to cover all the different parts of the solar business. We are selling Awango lamps to individual customers; we have sold more than 300,000 lamps in the last two years. We target at reaching 400,000 lamps at the end of 2017.

"So it is half a million by next year. We are also looking at developing solar into a big business, helping our industrial customers to develop solar solutions hybrid together with their existing power generation system either electricity system or generator. We identified that as a major act of development of our business."

Mittelman told the shareholders that Total would continue to invest in its lubricant facilities, as well as improve the depots and logistics, noting that this year would be challenging, but assured that the company would continue to grow in all indices for enhanced shareholders' value, and improve customer service delivery.

The President Emeritus, Independent shareholders Association of Nigeria, Sunny Nwosu, commended Total for the improved performance in 2016, while urging the company to consider a bonus issue for shareholders in the current financial year.

He also stressed the need for the oil company to consider producing solar energy that would be lower in price than what is currently obtainable in the market for the benefit of all stakeholders.


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