‘SEPLAT’s pioneer status has aided Nigeria’s economy’
SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company Plc has responded to allegations suggesting that the company benefitted from improper tax waivers in relation to its grant of pioneer tax incentive by the Federal Government.
The firm, in a statement signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Austin Avuru, noted that: “In 2013, SEPLAT applied for pioneer status incentive through the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) as the government body responsible for investment promotion. The company followed the prescribed process for application and provided all the information and documentation required in support of the application.”
He disclosed that the incentive was part of an industry-wide exercise and the company was one of the 15 oil and gas companies that were granted the pioneer tax incentive.
Quoting the CEO, the statement went further to say, “SEPLAT believes that it is an excellent example of the whole purpose of establishing the pioneer incentive scheme. The company has fully re-invested the tax savings from the grant and has delivered verifiable results thereto. SEPLAT is now a key supplier of gas to the domestic market which is the direct outcome of the pioneer incentive granted it and aims to continue to contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.”
Reeling out benefits from the tax holiday to the Nigerian economy, the statement said the grant of pioneer status has made it possible for SEPLAT to boost oil and gas production, provide employment opportunities, impact on host communities and help grow the national economy.
Gas production rose from an average of 90mmscfd to a current level of around 200 MMscfd with a target of 300 MMscfd by the end of 2015. This increase has been driven by an over US$300 million investment in gas development over the tax holiday period.
Oil production has grown from a daily average of 14,000 barrels in 2010 to the current daily rate of over 70,000 barrels. The statement also added that its royalty payments have gone up from an average of $40 million yearly in 2010 to US$147 million in 2014.
The company further noted that it has continued to fund the NPDC/SEPLAT JV to drive these outstanding growths in oil and gas production despite being owed substantial sums in unpaid cash-calls from NPDC.
The statement added that the tax incentive has helped SEPLAT in creating over 300 new jobs and delivering several community development projects in their operating areas, noting that “the multiplier effect of our over US$700 million in annual expenditure through Nigerian contractors adds over 1,000 additional jobs.”