Delta revenue board probes Shell, Chevron

Emma Amaize

14 August,Sweetcrude, WARRI- DELTA State Board of Internal Revenue, DIBR, has instituted a tax audit into the operations of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SDPC and Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, Warri, with regard to tax remittances to unearth the reasons for dwindling taxes paid by both oil companies to the state government in the last three to four months.

Chairman of the board, Joel-Onowakpo Thomas who disclosed while addressing newsmen in Warri expressed dissatisfaction at the uncooperative attitude of SPDC and Chevron on the matter, saying the oil firms had not adduced any reason for the sudden development.

“SPDC especially, has not been paying its due tax. For the past three to four months, Shell’s payment of tax has been dwindling. We have called for tax investigation into the activities of SPDC. They have deliberately prevented us from having access to their records for very flimsy excuses.”

“We in DIBR know what they are up to, we will only advise them to keep postponing so that they can have enough time to perfect their records and they should also not forget that there is a limit to obstructing duly authorised officers of the board from gaining access to their records. Section 105(a) (b) is clear about the implications of obstructing the board from carrying out its lawful duties and Section 53(1 -2) provides the options open to the board,” he said.

“Consequently, I want to tell Shell and Chevron that we will no longer tolerate that because we know them to be very law- abiding companies in their home countries. We may be forced to invoke the various provisions of the law,” the chairman stressed.

Joel-Onowakpo also urged those attempting to hinder Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan’s (the governor’s) determination to fulfil his promise as contained in his three- point agenda and to build a truly Delta State without oil, to have a rethink as the board was prepared to explore every available legal means to get every kobo that is due it.

He charged directors and staff of the board to be committed to their duties and the new drive to improve the internally generated revenue of the state, while commending them for their cooperation so far.

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