Total E & P Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) has clarified that it is not indebted to the Akwa Ibom State Government to the tune of N25 billion in unremitted Personal Income Tax for the period covering 2011 to 2016.
The companyâ€™s External Relations Manager, Mr. Charles Ebereonwu, said in a statement thursday that TEPNG objected to the said â€œbest of judgment tax liabilityâ€ on the grounds that it does not have the record of employees being resident in Akwa Ibom State nor does it maintain any office or operational base in the state.
The company further clarified that it is not under any obligation to remit Personal Income Tax to the Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service (AKSIRS), based on the extant Tax Laws of Nigeria,
â€œWith regard to the claim for Withholding Tax (WHT) by the state, TEPNGâ€™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 the state. As a matter of fact, AKSIRS is yet to issue TEPNG with treasury receipts and WHT credit notes for the remittances already made,â€ the statement said.
â€œTEPNG 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 realised within the tenure of the MOU and are renewable on a 5-yearly basis,â€ the company added.
The company added that it would continue to contribute to the growth and development of the state through various â€œCSR programmes, which include provision of potable water, renovation of schools, hospitals and health centres, construction of bridges to ease movement of persons and farm produce, the construction of a 310-seater lecture hall at the University of Uyo, youth development centres.â€
According to the company, these CSR programmes are in addition to the provision of capacity building trainings, micro credit facilities, as well as public health initiatives to the people of the state.
â€œAs a responsible, law-abiding corporate citizen, TEPNG will continue to abide by the laws of Nigeria, meet all statutory obligations and sustain her greatly valued cordial relationship with Akwa Ibom State,â€ the company added.