Multinational oil company, ExxonMobil, operators of NNPC/MPN Joint Venture, has faulted a claim by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, that oil companies have not being remitting their 3% contribution to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC), saying it has paid over N67.5bn to the interventionist agency in 19 years.
Akpabio had during a weekly ministerial briefing at the State House Abuja claimed that the oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region have defaulted in their statutory remittances to the NNDC to the tune of $4bn.
But speaking during a media interaction with journalists in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, as part of activities marking the Correspondents Chapel’s Press Week, the Manager, Media and Communication, ExxonMobil, Mr. Ogechuckwu Udeagha, said such claim by Akpabio was not applicable to ExxonMobil as it has not relented in its corporate social responsibility as shown in some of its social investments in the areas of it operations.
“ExxonMobil has remitted over N67.5bn to the NDDC in the past 19 years of it operations,” Udeagha said.
Speaking on the allegation that the company was not paying taxes to Akwa Ibom State government, the ExxonMobil spokesperson said the workers of the oil firm pay up to N7bn monthly to the State government as tax.
He said, “70 per cent of our staff live and work here in Akwa Ibom state and we pay about N7billion tax to the state government through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and of course the 13 per cent derivation. You can therefore realise the impact we are making on the state economy. We are closely linked with the state government and it’s important that we work together.”
He warned that Nigeria would lose over 90 per cent of its foreign exchange earnings if crude oil fails, adding that, “let’s make the most out of this resource while we still have time. Our crude oil reserves are in billions of barrels, so we need to tap them and use such revenue to add value to our economy.”