Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri says the refusal of oil companies to pay tax is hurting the generation of substantial revenue for the state.
Recall that in 2021, Governor Diri said it’s “unfair” that International Oil Companies (IOCs) extract oil in the state but their employees pay income tax to states where they have their headquarters.
“We strongly feel it is unfair for the IOCs to carry out their operations in Bayelsa, yet the PAYE income tax is collected in Lagos. That is a case of somebody eating the beans and asking another person to have diarrhoea.”
Former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in March 2017, directed the IOCs operating in the Niger Delta to relocate their headquarters to their states of operation in order to mitigate tension in host communities.
Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa Governor, Daniel Alabra, while speaking in Lagos at a lecture titled, “Nigerians, elected leaders and expectations’, noted that loopholes in the nation’s tax regime had impacted the state’s development negatively.
He said, “We have oil companies in Bayelsa who have refused to pay taxes, thereby hurting the state’s strength to generate enough revenue to cater for the needs of the people.
“There are loopholes in the tax regime which impact our internally generated revenue negatively. The existential threat that concerns the people of Bayelsa state is real and urgent.
“In contemplating the abundance of prospect that Nigeria’s economy can enjoy from oil and gas exploration, care should be taken to protect the environment of the Niger Delta and preserve the lives and livelihoods of its people.
“We launched a report of the Bayelsa state oil and environment commission, which highlighted the unfriendly practices by all operators.
“This report made far-reaching recommendations on measures to address the environment terrorism that Bayelsa has suffered since 1956.”