Total Denies Owing Akwa Ibom State Government N25 Billion In Unremitted Taxes

Yemisi Izuora

French Oil major, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) has dismissed reports suggesting it is indebted to the Akwa Ibom State Government to the tune of Twenty Five Billion Naira (N25, 000,000,000:00),  in unremitted Personal Income Tax for the period covering 2011 to 2016.

Clarifying the situation, the TEPNG, denied having the record of employees being resident in Akwa Ibom State and that it does not maintain any office or operational base in the State.

“Based on the extent Tax Laws of Nigeria, TEPNG is not under any obligation to remit Personal Income Tax to the Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service (AKSIRS).

With regard to the claim for Withholding Tax (WHT) by the state, TEPNG’s position is that the claim was made in error given the fact that the Company had since remitted all WHT deducted from payments made to contractors resident in Akwa Ibom State. As a matter of fact, AKSIRS is yet to issue TEPNG with treasury receipts and WHT credit notes for the remittances already made”, it said in a statement.

The company said it has a robust Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme which it extends to states within and outside its areas of operation.

“The afore-mentioned notwithstanding, TEPNG has proactively engaged all the communities within Akwa Ibom State by establishing Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs), wherein it has undertaken to provide infrastructure development, employment, capacity building, scholarships (local and foreign), and skills acquisition to members of the communities. The said undertakings are usually realized within the tenure of the MOU and are renewable on a 5-yearly basis.

TEPNG continues to contribute to the growth and development of Akwa Ibom State through various CSR programmes which include provision of potable water, renovation of schools, hospitals and health centres, construction of bridges to ease movement of persons and farm produce, the construction of  a 310-seater  lecture hall at the University of Uyo, youth development centres, etc.  These are in addition to the provision of capacity building training, micro credit facilities, as well as public health initiatives to the people of the state.

As a responsible, law-abiding corporate citizen, TEPNG will continue to abide by the laws of Nigeria, meet all statutory obligations and sustain her greatly valued cordial relationship with Akwa Ibom State”, the statement added

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