22 April 2016, Abuja – The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari, to intervene in the face-off between his government and the international oil firms operating in the state.
Dickson, in the letter, alleged that oil and gas companies operating in the state had defaulted in the payment of taxes and levies for a long period of time.
He, therefore, urged the President to use his good offices to prevail on the companies concerned to comply with the laws of the state and that of the country.
Dickson, in the letter personally signed by him and obtained by our correspondent on Thursday in Abuja, lamented that the oil and gas firms operating in the state over a long period of time, refused to pay land use service charges and development levies.
He said their action was impacting negatively on the environment, especially through spillage and on the economy of the state.
The governor said his administration strived towards ensuring a conducive and peaceful environment for the operators, who were mostly multinationals.
He regretted, however, that the oil majors had not been realistic by contributing proportionally to the economy and development of the state, a situation, he said, needed to be reversed.
He listed the oil and gas companies affected as Shell, Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Consolidated Oil, Conoil Producing, Brass LNG and Aiteo.
He added, “Sadly, the compliance level of the oil and gas exploration and production companies in payment of levies and taxes is very low and in fact, pitiable.”
He claimed that the companies did not have offices in the state and only a negligible percentage of their staff paid the Pay As You Earn tax as a basic legal obligation.