Reps engage three oil operators on tax matters

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The APC-led House of Representatives has questioned Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, TotalEnergies and First E&P over alleged tax evasion.

The companies appeared before the ad hoc Committee investigating the Structure and Accountability of the Joint Venture (JV) Business and Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) of the NNPC since 1990 to date.

Abubakar Fulata, the Chairman of the committee was reported to have frowned at their operations regarding the payment of taxes to Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS) Service. Noting FIRS does not rely on Stock Certificate of Crude Oil as well as Certificate of Acceptance of fixed Assets (CAFA).

The Committee was of the opinion that the Stock Certificates gave clearer pictures of the oil being lifted while the CAFA certificate was the basis for capital allowances claims.

Bashir Bello, leading the Shell delegation who also promised to furnish the Committee with the relevant documents except the CAFA certification said that SPDC had been in operation since 1929 and so has no fears whatsoever.

The Committee said Shell, Total and First E & P were in violation of Nigeria Law for making capital allowances claims without the CAFA Certificate.

The companies in their separate submissions and presentations admitted they had been in operation and relying on Petroleum Tax Act to make capital allowance claims, adding that the CAFA was domiciled with the Ministry of Industry.

The Committee was also reported to have maintained that it was not only the PT Act they were bound to obey, insisting that they had no power to choose which law to obey or disobey.

The panel demanded that the oil companies, among other things, furnished the Committee with stock certificate, capital allowance enjoyed and the contributions to NNPC-JV and PSCs Account, News Agency of Nigeria, NAN reported.

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