Minister of Finance, Bwalya Ng’andu has warned companies that perpetually fail to declare dividends that they risk being closed.
Dr Ng’andu says companies’ position of loss making and not creating value and turning to the treasury for additional financing cannot continue as they were not created for the purpose of becoming a perpetual drainer of resources from the treasury.
The Minister was speaking when he received a cheque dividend of K9.1 million for the financial year ended 31st March 2019 from the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mine -Investment Holdings Plc (ZCCM-IH) in Lusaka today.
Dr Ng’andu commended ZCCM-IH for its efforts and hard work in keeping the company on a profitable trajectory as it has made it possible to contribute to the treasury through both tax and non-tax revenues.
The Finance Minister said this is important during this time when the country is facing a constrained fiscal space.
He said he is aware that ZCCM-IH has continued to make selected strategic investments which will undoubtedly contribute to job creation and sustainable economic growth.
Dr Ng’andu stated that the company through Kabundu Resources Limited is expected to commence production of manganese in Serenje District before the end of June 2020.
He added that the company through Consolidated Gold Company will also commence gold processing in Rufunsa District before the end of June this year.
Dr Ng’andu noted that with gold being declared a strategic mineral by government, and ZCCM-IH identified as the anchor company to drive the national gold agenda, government remains optimistic that it will play a critical role in harnessing the gold potential in the country.
He further said government through the Bank of Zambia has identified purchase of gold as one of the mechanisms to enhance the country’s international reserves.
“I am informed that there are about 21 known gold occurrence areas around the country that are yet to be exploited,” he said.
He said government will support all endeavors by the ZCCM Gold Company in harnessing the gold potential in the country.
Speaking at the same event, ZCCM-IH Chief Executive Officer, Mabvuto Chipata said ZCCM-IH shareholders approved a total dividend payout of K53 million in the last Annual General meeting.
Mr Chipata stated that as a group, ZCCM-IH made a profit of K448 million which was largely driven by an increase of 155 percent in revenue.