The Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas has offered to pay 50 percent of the cost of building the Bonny-Bodo road if the federal government plays its part
THE Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, NLNG, wants to collaborate with relevant federal government agencies including Niger Delta Development Commission to rebuild the Bonny-Bodo road. The NLNG is offering to pay 50 percent of the total cost of building the Bonny-Bodo road which has been a long-standing government project that will improve infrastructure in the Niger Delta and better the life of the people when it is completed. Those that will be mostly affected are residents on Bonny Island, Ogoni, Okrika, Eleme and Andoni among others.
The NLNG told the Senate Committee on Niger Delta in Abuja on Tuesday, February 2, that it would provide 50 percent of the funding, worth N60 billion provided the federal government plays its part.
The NLNG also clarified its position on NLNG’s exemption from paying 3 percent of its revenue to Niger Delta Development Commission as levy, saying that the NLNG Act of 2004 precludes it from doing so.
It drew attention to the fact that the NDDC had filed a case in court which went up to the Supreme Court over the levy matter and that the court ruled in favour of the NLNG in October 11.
“Nigeria LNG Limited is a law abiding company and has continued to operate within the confines of local and international regulation and the law since inception”, Babs Omotowa, managing director and chief executive officer of NLNG said.
According to him, “NLNG’s financial contributions to Nigeria and the Niger Delta have been significant. Apart from $3.6 billion (N720 billion) that NLNG paid as Company Income Tax and Education Tax in 2014 and 2015 which remains the highest by any company in Nigeria and Sub-Sahara Africa, it also pays N6 billion annually to the Rivers State Government and N140 million annually to the Bonny Local Government Council.”
He said NLNG “is unable to honour unlawful payment demand such as NDDC is making, for the single reason that such action would be in violation of the law and would project Nigeria in negative light in international community from where foreign investments are required even at this crucial time”.
However, the managing director said that NLNG continues to contribute significantly to the Niger Delta through its unique approach to corporate social responsibility in areas of human capital, Infrastructure development and enterprises.
For instance, hundreds of young Nigerians from the Niger Delta have benefited from NLNG post-primary, undergraduate and overseas post graduate scholarships schemes; some 250,000 residents on Bonny Island have access to uninterrupted electricity supply, pipe borne water and accessible roads. Bonny also houses NLNG’s Vocational Centre accredited by UK City and Guilds Institute, and provides technical and entrepreneurial skills training for hundreds of community beneficiaries. NLNG initiated a $1 Billion Vendor Finance Scheme in 2013, which affords local businesses access to low cost finance to encourage local content development and enable growth.
The NLNG also recently signed an MOU with Bonny Kingdom for the economic development of the Kingdom over a 25-year period. The company committed to contribute N3 billion per annum towards this MOU to be managed by the community. A recent addition to NLNG’s corporate social responsibility portfolio is the University Support Programme formally announced in 2014 and valued at $12 million.
NLNG is owned by four shareholders, namely, the federal government, represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC (49 percent), Shell Gas BV, SGBV, (25.6 percent), Total LNG Nigeria Limited (15 percent), and Eni International (10.4 percent).
— Feb 3, 2016 @ 16:50 GMT