Tax Evasion: Reps Grill Shell, Total Energies, First Exploration

November 24, 2022
SNEPCo workers Shell

By Adedapo Adesanya

The House of Representatives on Wednesday intensified efforts towards getting answers from Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Total Energies, and First Exploration and Production 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 Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited from 1990 to date.

The chairman of the panel, Mr Abubakar Fulata, frowned at the way the firms have been paying taxes to the Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS) Service, noting that the agency does not rely on the Stock Certificate of Crude Oil as well as the Certificate of Acceptance of fixed Assets (CAFA).

The committee said the Stock Certificates gave clearer pictures of the oil being lifted, while the CAFA certificate was the basis for capital allowances claims.

The leader of the Shell delegation, Mr Bashir Bello, said SPDC had been in operation since 1929 and promised to furnish the committee with the relevant documents being requested with the exception of the CAFA certificate.

The panel 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, said; indeed, they had been in operation and relying on Petroleum Tax Act (PT Act) to make capital allowance claims.

They claimed that the CAFA was domiciled with the Ministry of Industry.

The committee argued that it was not only the PT Act they were bound to obey, adding that they had no power to select which law to obey and which one not to obey.

The panel demanded that the oil companies, among other things, furnished the team with stock certificates, capital allowances enjoyed, and contributions to the NNPC-JV and PSCs Account.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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