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FG calls on Oil & Gas operators to leverage capital market for funding

How Nigeria’s capital market can drive financial inclusion

The federal government has called on oil and gas operators to create ingenious ways of raising capital to expand their investment and tackle myriads of problems facing the sector, especially leveraging the nation’s capital market.

Minister of States for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri stated this at the Seplat Energy anniversary to commemorate its 10 year of Dual Listing on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and London Stock Exchange held yesterday in Lagos.

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Lokpobiri assured that the government would continue to create an enabling environment and regulatory framework for companies to operate in a more conducive manner as prescribed by the PIA.

According to him, there is a need for companies under the sector to adopt robust corporate governance structures that would attract financiers and sustain their confidence to invest in these firms as achieved by Seplat Energy.

“We need to solve our problems ourselves; this is the time for us to evolve home grown solutions to solve our energy problems. So, we have to evolve some ingenious ways of raising money, through the capital market. We are committed in sustaining our production in oil and gas but in a more responsible and cleaner way by deploying the best technology.”

He added that there is need for the country to boost its production capacity currently, considering the attractiveness of pricing at the moment.

Reviewing Seplat Energy’s performance over the last 10 years, chief executive officer of Seplat Energy, Roger Brown said the energy giant generated $1.7 billion in Free Cash Flow (FCF) and invested over $57 million to support community projects, especially in the areas of health care, education and empowerment.

He pointed out that the firm has returned dividend worth $575 million and invested $1.6 billion in capital expenditure in the last 10 years, saying that “our strong cash generation has supported our ambition to expand our business, which has seen us spend an aggregate of $1.6 billion in capex.”

He noted that the company has delivered significant value enhancing strategies in both operations and financials within 10 years of listing on the bourse, saying that the firm has increased its gas revenue by 350 per cent to $123.4 million from 2014 to 2023.

“We have completed major acquisitions since 2014, unlocking upside value. Our current portfolios include seven onshore blocks, acquired Chevron’s OML53, transferred in 2016, resulting in the development of the ANOH gas plant, acquired Eland in 2019, signed SPA with Exxon for MPNU in February 2022,” he added.

Brown pointed out that “as part of its resolve to become a major oil company in Nigeria, the company embarked on a capital raising to the tune of $500 million on the LSE and the NGX.
He added that the company has returned $575 million to shareholders from the IPO between 2014 to 2023.

Group Chairman of NGX Group, Alhaji (Dr) Umaru Kwairanga said that since Seplat its inception in 2009 and dual listing on Nigerian Exchange Limited and London Stock Exchange in 2014, Seplat has emerged as a leading indigenous energy company, deeply integrated into Nigeria’s economic landscape.

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Kwairanga pointed out that “the trajectory of its stock price, soaring from N576 at listing to N3,370 today, reflects an astonishing surge of over 480 per cent, underscoring the significant role of capital markets in facilitating.”

He emphasized that “at NGX Group, our commitment to deepening the capital market and cultivating an environment conducive to sustainable growth and innovation remains unwavering. Over the years, we have implemented numerous initiatives aimed at bolstering market liquidity, investor confidence, market integrity, and attracting listings.”

The Group CEO of NGX Group, Mr. Temi Popoola also commended Seplat Energy for its performance over the past 10 years of listing. NGX Group remains committed to supporting companies like Seplat as they drive economic growth and contribute to our nation’s prosperity.

“We are really excited about Seplat Energy performance and what they have done, not just in terms of dividend payout to their investors but also their commitment to the environment.
“Seplat Energy is a premium board listed company, and they are really committed to taking care of the environment. The Company has spent over $16 million just looking after the environment where they operate.”

He further said “the NGX Group as a platform is ready in ensuring long term capital to companies.”