THE government has demanded quarterly business performance reports from the PUMA Energy Tanzania and Tanzania International Petroleum Reserves Limited (TIPER), to enable it verify actual dividend and taxes the companies are supposed to pay.
The two companies, in each of which the government has 50 per cent shares, were also ordered to submit the reports from the end of this month onwards. It has also directed the board of directors of both companies to review the companies’ management structures, in which high-level positions are held by foreigners.
“I want the board to sit and consider the balance of power. There should also be Tanzanians in the top posts for the interest of the nation,” Energy minister Dr Medard Kalemani told the board chairman.
Minister Kalemani gave the new directives yesterday when he visited the two facilities, just two weeks after he was appointed to the post. He said the performance reports should explain the amount of fuel ordered, received, sold and the profit obtained in every three months.
“You should submit the report to the ministry’s permanent secretary from the end of this month… failure of doing so would invite stern legal action,” Dr Kalemani ordered. He elaborated that the fresh move intends to change the way the companies operated, considering that the government is also the majority shareholder of the companies, and was thus enjoined to monitor their operations closely.
Though the companies were paying dividend and taxes to the government annually, the minister was skeptical that the amount could be less than what they should pay because they were not sharing their business reports with the government for verification. Dr Kalemani appealed to the management to ensure that they consider workers’ well-being for boosting their morale, towards raising productivity.
At the Puma Energy facility, Dr Kalemani gave specific directives to the management, including opening centres in six regions where they didn’t have a presence currently, citing Songea, Singida and Geita as examples.
“I want you to reach those regions to extend your presence in order to earn more income, because you might be complaining over poor revenues while you haven’t covered all regions,” he noted.
During his visit, he learnt that one of the oil tank Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) was dormant for a long time, making Oryx the sole supplier of the gas, a situation which leads to low supply of the product.
Dr Kalemani ordered that the gas tank becomes operational as soon as possible to increase the availability of the product in the market. He revealed that the ministry had established a special desk to deal with the issues of the Puma Energy Tanzania for efficiency.
Puma Energy General Manager Philippe Corsaletti told the minister that the company had started operating for 24 hours, explaining that 49 stations countrywide were functioning.
Mr Corsaletti further noted that the company’s dividend to the government had been increasing, recording 4bn/- in 2012 and 14bn/- in2016. “But, this is not enough; it was possible that if our supervision was on a higher scale, the dividend could even be higher than that.
This year we want it reach 28bn/,” Dr Kalemani said. At the TIPER, its assistant director, Mr Paulo Mzava, said the company’s revenues had increased from 6.3bn/- in 2015 to 6.5bn/- last year.
He was optimistic that the revenues would improve further, after the government implemented its plan of making it the ‘Single Receiving Facility’ (SRF)’ , under which all imported oil were routed through the TIPER before distributing it to various depots.
The SRF is expected to help the government be aware of the amount of fuel on transit, the amount retained for country’s use and total taxes collected.