We can’t pay “illegal” NDDC levy, NLNG insists


Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) Tuesday called on the Federal Government and relevant agencies, including the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to partner with it in the development of Bonny-Bodo Road, a long-standing government project which will help improve the infrastructure in the Niger Delta.

Before the Senate Committee on Niger Delta in Abuja, NLNG restated its offer to provide 50% of the funding, worth N60 billion, provided the partnership is accepted and matched by the Federal Government. The road will better the lives of the thousands of Nigerians, mainly from the Niger Delta living on Bonny Island, as well other Niger Delta residents in Ogoni, Okrika, Eleme, Andoni, etc.

NLNG also clarified the company’s position on NLNG’s exemption from payment of a three percent (3%) NDDC levy. The company stated that it was granted exemption from payment of this levy by the provisions of the NLNG Act of 2004.

It reminded the committee that the matter under reference was the subject of a legal action filed against NLNG by the NDDC in 2005, and that the case had travelled through the judicial process from the High Courts, through the Appeal Court to the Supreme Court, which all ruled in NLNG’s favour in October 2011.

According to Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Babs Omotowa, “Nigeria LNG Limited is a law abiding company and has continued to operate within the confines of local and international regulation and the law since inception”.

NLNG’s financial contributions to Nigeria and the Niger Delta have been significant. Apart from $3.6 billion (N720 billion) that NLNG paid as Company Income Tax and Education Tax in 2014 and 2015 which remains the highest by any company in Nigeria and Sub-Sahara Africa, the company also pays N6 billion annually to the Rivers State Government and N140 million annually to the Bonny Local Government Council.

NLNG added that it is unable to honour unlawful payment demand such as NDDC is making, for the single reason that such action would be in violation of the law and would project Nigeria in negative light with international community from where foreign investments are required even at this crucial time”.

The company is owned by four shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC (49%),  Shell Gas BV, SGBV, (25.6%), Total LNG Nigeria Limited (15%), and Eni International (N.A,) N. V. S. a. r. l (10.4%).