Total Denies Owing Akwa Ibom State Govt N25bn In Unremitted Taxes

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By CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos
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 N25billion 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 extant 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, ’the company said in a statement.

The company added that 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.

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