Tullow shareholders demand dividend

Mr Paul McDade(inset)Group CEO,Tullow Oil Ghana Limited addressing the shareholders at the forum.Photo.Ebo GormanShareholders of oil exploration giant, Tullow Ghana, are demanding their annual dividend from the company which has not been paid for the past two years.

According to the shareholders, failure on the part of Tullow Oil to honour that obligation has brought untold financial pressure on them over the period.

Dividends are monies paid regularly, in most cases annually by a company to its shareholders out of its profits.

The shareholders who expressed their concerns at this year’s Investor Forum organised by the oil company in Accra yesterday said reasons for the nonpayment of the dividend had not even been communicated to them.

The forum was to update the shareholders on the operations of the company over the last one year and the plans for the next year.

Mr. Paul McDade, Group Chief Executive Officer of Tullow, in his response to the queries of the shareholders explained that the company was unable to pay the dividend because of the plummeting price of oil on the international market during the period.

He said as a result of the falling oil prices, the company suspended the payment of the dividend for 2015 and 2016 because it wanted to stabilise the company’s financial status, especially at a time it had ventured into the Tweneboa, Enyenra, Ntomme (TEN) project.

Mr. McDade said doing so was in the interest of the shareholders because stabilising the company and deferring the payment to a later year meant sustained investment for the shareholders.

Admitting that there was a communication gap, Mr. McDade said measures had been put in place to address the concerns of their shareholders.

Some of the shareholders in a sideline interviews with The Ghanaian Times said the explanations were untenable.

“How can you say that because oil prices were falling andyou couldn’t pay your shareholders their dividend? Whether oil prices fell or not, the company made profit and that is what they must be sharing with us,” Felix Mireku Dankwa-Misa who represented his 80-year old father said.

Captain (rtd) Ebow Acquaah, another shareholder, on his part said, “As a retiree, my only source of income is my investments, and if you don’t pay me my dividend, how do you expect me to survive.”

 

By Julius Yao Petetsi   

 

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