N/Delta leaders caution NLNG over non-payment of levies

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Niger Delta Militants

The Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON) have expressed dissatisfaction over the alleged inability of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd to pay it development levies.

The groups National Chairman, Eze Akueze Ikegwuruka, told newsmen in Port Harcourt on Tuesday that NLNG had allegedly refused to accept amended NLNG Act 2004.

He said the amended NLNG Act (Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances) was passed into law by the House of Representatives on May 9, 2017.

According to him, the Act mandated NLNG to remit three per cent of its annual budget to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for development of the Niger Delta.



“TROMPCON is surprised that NLNG has clung to some sections of its Act of 2004 — which has since expired — to refuse to meet its statutory obligations to the NDDC.

“We consider it shameful that NLNG will be campaigning against the best judgment of members of the National Assembly knowing that when Niger Delta sneezes; the country catches cold.

“NLNG must comply with Section 14(1)(b) of the NDDC Act which stipulates that three per cent of the total annual budget of any oil producing company operating onshore and offshore goes to NDDC.

“While we acknowledge the fact that Section 2 of the NLNG Act gave NLNG tax relief period; these fiscal incentives are clearly for a period of 10 years,’’ he said.



Ikegwuruka pointed out that NLGN had enjoyed tax haven for almost 18 years — eight years more — since the company started operation in the area in September 1999.

He said the multinational firm had “dangled carrots’’ of growth and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the Federal Government with intent to continue with old guarantees and assurances that have expired.

The TROMPCON chairman refuted claims that removal of the guarantees and assurances in the NLNG Act 2004 was erroneous.

“TROMPCON believes that the huge error — which the House of Representatives graciously corrected — was the special exemption granted in perpetuity to NLNG by Section 9.

“Also, the exemption granted are in Clauses 2, 3, 6 and 15 of the NLNG (Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances) Act 2004,’’ he said.

Ikegwuruka commended the House of Representatives and the board and management of NDDC for taking the bold step to amend the NLNG Act 2004. (NAN)

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