Government Receives Hefty Dividend

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK In what is their largest ever dividend paid to Government, the Namibia Post and Telecom Holding (NPTH) yesterday handed over a cheque of N$38,9 million to the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication. Presenting the cheque for the financial year 2004/2005 to the shareholder, the Chairperson of the NPTH Board of Directors Steve Motinga said that although this was a challenging year, the group of subsidiaries has successfully managed to keep businesses sound and profitable. These subsidiaries are Telecom Namibia, MTC and Namibia Post (Nampost). The total amount of dividend payments made by the NPTH Group of Companies since incorporation in 1992 to government now stands at just over N$70 million. In view of this, Motinga noted that through paying dividends and taxes to government, the group has made significant contributions to the economic prosperity of the country and its people. “Our companies have collectively spent billions of dollars to reconstruct, develop and build new infrastructure and to modernise postal and telecommunications services in this country,” said Motinga. In 2005, capital expenditure amounted to N$324 million, which is 12 percent higher than the 2004 expenditure. Furthermore, N$207 million in taxes was paid to the State this financial year, while over N$314 million was spent on salaries, wages and other employee benefits. Motinga said that the ongoing motive is for the group to manage their assets in a “prudent and financially sound manner” in order to maximise returns to the shareholders. “The key here is to focus on predictable performance, strong relationships and innovative customer solutions,” he noted. In addition, the group also generated a turnover of over N$1,8 billion during the financial year from which a consolidated operating profit was realised before financial items of N$610 million. This culminates to an interim dividend of 10,42 cents per share, leading to the overall dividend cheque payment of N$38 941 600. Upon receiving the cheque, Minister of Works, Transport and Communication Joel Kaapanda said that the development of the postal and telecommunications sector is an ongoing development priority for Government in partnership with the NPTH Group. Such priorities should be geared towards alleviating rural poverty, addressing the imbalances in access to information, reducing income disparities and creating employment opportunities. Throwing a strong word of caution at the captains of parastatals, Kaapanda encouraged them to stay way from corrupt activities, as this would only hamper their development efforts. “I would like to caution all our State Owned Enterprises managers to desist from all forms of corrupt practices, which may tarnish the reputation of our country. I call upon you to uphold the values of honesty, transparency, integrity and professionalism in the execution of your duties and responsibilities,” stressed Kaapanda. At the same dividend payment ceremony, NPTH subsidiaries, namely Telecom Namibia, MTC and Namibia Post also presented their dividend cheques to Motinga. MTC gave the largest amount of N$80 million, followed by Telecom Namibia that stood at N$16 941 600 and Namibia Post handed over a cheque dividend of N$2 million.