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Indigenous oil operators’ under-remitting taxes to FG–NCDMB

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Indigenous oil operators’ under-remitting taxes to FG--NCDMB
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The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has raised the alarm, saying indigenous oil operators have turned out to be serial violators of the Content Act by under-remitting taxes due to the government.

The Executive Secretary (ES), Simbi Wabote, who revealed this at a breakfast workshop in Abuja Tuesday morning, said the indigenous operators are biting the fingers that feed them.

He said the indigenous operators try to save costs and care for profit more than national interest. “They want to be exempted from the tenets Content Act. We have made it clear that the law is for all.”

Wabote said it is wrong for a local contractor to win a job and employ 90 per cent expatriates, thereby causing job loss to Nigerians.

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He accused them of project execution without getting approval, adding that they also use workers not registered in the expertise ledger

He said: “They find it difficult to pay the one per cent levy stipulated by the Act. That is why the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) is now after them. They call to accuse me of sending the EFCC after them”.

He warned that if indigenous operators don’t arrest the growth path by undermining the regulatory system, Nigeria will hit the 70 per cent target set by the Board.

He said the local players make more profit out of such divested areas. “Thus, there is no need to fear. It is common in the industry. Even in the Gulf of Mexico, it has been done.”

On risks of divestment to Nigerians, he said tax is dropping. “The Indigenous producers don’t like to pay tax. It raises the inquiry or concerns of; where is the tax threshold; Is it higher with IOCs and if so, why?”

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He said the presidency has seen this and has taken action. “They will identify the problem and fix it.”

He pointed at some trends and how indigenous companies such as Seplat, Aiteo, etc, have snapped up some oil wells from the IOCs, and the impact this has had on the industry.

“Divestment has paid off in the area of boost in production. For instance, an indigenous producer has increased the production it inherited from 20,000 bpd to 75,000. In Nembe Creek, AITEO has increased from 30,000 to 80,000 bpd in Nembe. This was before the pipeline attacks came much harder. Oando is to grow 900m reserves after acquisitions it made.”

He admitted that there is crude oil theft, massive pollution, illegal refining activities at the shallow waters to add to the pressure on the IOCs to move away from the shallow waters to the deep blue waters.

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