Bayelsa tackles Shell over N4bn levies, operational permit


Samuel Oyadongha

16 August, 2011, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – Bayelsa State government and the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) may be on collision course as the state House of Assembly yesterday launched inquiry into the allegations against the oil major for failing to obtain requisite operational permit needed for the construction of its Central Processing Facilities (CPF), that is the Gbarain Ubie gas project and its refusal to pay N4billion outstanding levies.

Accordingly, the assembly is pushing for the prosecution of the Managing Director and principal officers of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

This was contained in a motion passed by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Tuesday, after deliberating on the reported tax evasion and failure of the multinational company to obtain approval before setting up its manifolds and well locations from the Ministry of Lands.

The House also directed the appropriate department responsible for development and regional planning in the ministry of Lands to take “urgent steps aimed at recovering all sums due by way of levies and rates payable as development capital to the tune of N4billion only from SPDC within 21 days.”

Aside the motion which was moved by Hon Emelah Gentle representing Yenagoa constituency III, the house also ordered relevant agency in the ministry of lands to serve on SPDC an enforcement notice accordingly.

The SPDC, according to the motion, commenced a multi-billion gas gathering project in 2006 at Gbarain Kingdom, in Yenagoa local government, where it acquired a vast landscape for its manifolds and wells locations without obtaining necessary approval from the state government and paying levies or rates to the coffers of the government.

“It has become matter of concern that regardless of the clear provisions of law which govern and regulate SPDC’s continued development plans for the CPF, manifolds and wells, the oil giants has with impunity failed or neglected calls to obtain development permit/approval for its projects”, the motion added.

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