The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Joint Venture, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) and its co-venture partners have contributed $2 billion to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The Media Relations Manager, Shell Nigeria, Bamidele Odugbesan, stated this while reacting to the allegation that the oil giant was among the 50 oil firms that owe the NDDC.
Shell was named among the oil companies that owe the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Some oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region owe the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) N1.2 trillion due to their failure to pay their dues to the commission.
The Principal Partner, Paris Trust Limited, Timothy Bagwams, who said his firm was authorised by the NDDC to serve letters to the defaulting oil companies that owe the Commission, noted that Shell was among the defaulters.Oil companies in Nigeria statutorily are mandated to pay three per cent of their annual budget to the Commission. However, Bagwams stated that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), National Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Chevron, Shell, Agip, Pan Ocean oil, Petrobras, Seplat, Moni Pulo Petroleum Development, South Atlantic Petroleum and Slumberger, among others, owe the commission.
According to the Bagwams, since 2015, the majority of the oil companies have failed to remit the statutory three per cent to the Commission, which affects the efficient operation of the Commission and the development of the Niger Delta region.
Shell’s spokesperson Odugbesan said the company is current in payment of its dues to NDDC. He said: “The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) is up to date in the payment of all levies payable to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in compliance with the NDDC Act.
“SPDC’s remittance till the end of 2018 has been acknowledged and signed off by NDDC. We are awaiting NDDC’s receipts for payments from January to June 2019. SPDC, therefore, has no outstanding sums due and owing to the NDDC up to June 2019, and we have communicated this to the commission in response to their demand notice.”
Odugbesan also stated that between the inception of NDDC in 2002 and the end of 2018, SPDC JV parties, SNEPCo and its co-venture partners contributed $2 billion to the NDDC.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, in his reaction, confirmed that the Corporation owes NDDC. However, he stated that NNPC has started the repayment some months ago.
He said: “There is nothing wrong in being indebted to someone or an organisation. We are indebted to NDDC, but we have reached an agreement with them (NDDC) on repayment and we have started the repayment few months ago.”
Bagwams reiterated that Section 14(2)(b) of the NDDC Act, 2014 stipulates that three per cent of the total annual budget of any oil producing company operating onshore and offshore the Niger Delta region including gas processing companies shall be paid and credited to the fund established by the NDDC for the defrayal of all expenditure.
“But as I speak with you, the companies are owing NDDC more than N1.2 trillion, and this is why the Commission is achieving little in addressing the developmental needs of the region,” he said, adding that Paris Trust Limited is undertaking the facilitation and payment of the debts owed NDDC by oil firms and would be left with no option than to resort to legal action if at the end of a seven-day ultimatum the oil companies fail to make the remittances.