• Saturday, March 02, 2024
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Downstream companies face cash crunch as working capital falls 27%

Downstream companies face cash crunch as working capital falls 27%

Tunde Martins and Nnamdi Ogbeide used to be among the busiest petrol attendants in Agege, a major local district in Africa’s biggest economy.

They worked at a busy petrol station that was always packed with motorists queuing up to fill their tanks but all that changed when the government removed the fuel subsidy.

The price of petrol skyrocketed from N187 to N568 per litre. As a result, many motorists could no longer afford to fill their tanks, and the number of vehicles coming to the petrol station dropped drastically.

Martins and Ogbeide were suddenly left with very little to do. They went from being constantly busy to being idle for most of the day. They were worried about how they would support their families, and they are frustrated and angry at the government for putting them in this position.

“Before the fuel subsidy removal, we were used to attending to about 1,500 vehicles in a day,” said Chukwudi. “But now we are just struggling to attend to about 200. We don’t know what the future holds for us.”

Nigeria’s biggest downstream firms recorded a 27 percent decline in working capital to N31.5 billion in the first quarter of 2023 from N42.99 billion in a similar period of 2022.

Working capital is a commonly used measurement to gauge the short-term health of an organisation. A positive working capital means the company has more than enough resources to cover its short-term debt, and there is residual cash should all current assets be liquidated to pay this debt.

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Firm by Firm analysis

Conoil

Conoil recorded a working capital of N25.27 billion in the first quarter of 2023, a 32.4 percent increase from N19.08 billion in the same period of 2022.

The oil firm’s current assets stood at N73.34 billion, a 43 percent increase from N51.17 billion in the period reviewed.

Conoil’s current liabilities to N48.07 billion in the first quarter of 2023, a 50 percent increase from N32.09 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

TotalEnergies

TotalEnergies’ working capital stood at N3.44 billion in the first quarter of 2023, indicating a 48 percent decline from N6.62 billion in the same period of 2022.

The firm’s current assets to N233.33 billion, a 4.3 percent increase from N223.67 billion in the period reviewed.

TotalEnergies’ current liabilities rose to N229.89 billion in the first quarter of 2023, up 5.9 percent increase from N217.05 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

MRS Oil

MRS Oil working capital stood at N1.67 billion in the first quarter of 2023, 15 percent from N1.97 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

The firm’s current asset rose to N28.93 billion, up 42.9 percent from N20.24 billion in the comparable periods.

MRS Oil’s current liabilities stood at N27.26 billion in the first quarter of 2023,49.2 percent increase from N18.27 billion in the same period of 2022.

Eterna

Eterna’s working capital stood at N1.12 billion in the first quarter of 2023, a 92.7 percent decline from N15.32 billion in the same period of 2022.

The firm’s current assets dropped to N46.76 billion, a 4.8 percent increase from N49.11 billion in the period reviewed.

Eterna’s current liabilities rose to N45.64 billion in the first quarter of 2023, a 35.1 percent increase from N33.79 billion in the first quarter of 2022.