Nigeria LNG Exempted from NDDC Levy
Nigeria LNG Limited’s attention has been drawn to recent news reports about a demonstration by youths purported to be affiliated to a body calling itself Niger Delta Youth Stakeholders Forum, over the company’s alleged refusal to pay a three percent (3%) Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) levy.
For the avoidance of doubt, NLNG was granted exemption from payment of this levy by the NLNG Act of 2004, a position which has the backing of a Supreme Court ruling delivered as early as 2011.
Following an initial suit filed by the NDDC, the Federal High Court on July 11, 2007 delivered judgement stating that NLNG was not liable to pay the NDDC levy.
NDDC then proceeded to challenge the High Court ruling at the Court of Appeal. The Appellate Court also ruled in NLNG’s favour. NDDC appealed further to the Supreme Court in October 2011. The Supreme Court subsequently dismissed NDDC’s appeal, ruling that NLNG is legally exempted from paying the NDDC levy in accordance with the provisions of the NLNG Act.
It is instructive to note that when the representatives of the demonstrators were invited into a meeting with NLNG management and presented with this fact, they claimed to be unaware of it. They then immediately undertook to go back and inform the crowd of demonstrators numbering about 40. The protesters dispersed shortly afterwards.
As an international company owned by the following shareholders – 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%) – NLNG wishes to emphasize that it continues to conduct all its businesses in full compliance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and existing tax regulations.
It is on record that the company – consistent with its role as a responsible corporate citizen, helping to build a better Nigeria – recently made early payment of Corporate Income Tax for 2013 in excess of that paid by any other corporate entity in the country. It also paid Education Tax (Tertiary Education Trust Fund) for the corresponding period.
As has been the case since inception, NLNG continues to champion compliance and meet all its applicable tax obligations including Education Tax, Value Added Tax, Personal Income Tax, Witholding Tax, Tenement Rates etc, as accruable to federal, state and local governments.
NLNG’s unique approach to corporate social responsibility is anchored on the key elements of partnership and sustainability and its programmes fall into two broad categories, namely human capital and business as well as infrastructure development.
For example, some 250,000 homes and businesses on Bonny Island benefit from uninterrupted electricity supply. The Bonny Vocational Centre actively promotes technical and entrepreneurial skills training for hundreds of community beneficiaries. NLNG also initiated a one billion dollar contractor finance scheme in 2013, which affords local businesses access to low cost finance to enable growth. And more recently, NLNG also announced a $12 million University Support Programme to build or upgrade and equip engineering laboratories in six universities across Nigeria’s geo-political zones to boost teaching and research.
Through economic empowerment, entrepreneurship development programmes, support for Nigerian Content, capacity building for local industries, and sustainable community development, NLNG continues to use Nigeria’s gas resources to help diversify the economy and deliver benefits to the country.
General Manager, External Relations
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