The Nigerian government has commenced legal proceedings against the Chinese-owned oil firm, Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria Ltd, over the company’s alleged under-remittance of $3 billion in taxes and royalties.
Court documents sighted during the court proceeding before justice Olatoregun on Friday show that the funds, according to the government, were outstanding claims against the company under the Petroleum Profit Tax Act and Petroleum (Drilling and Production) Amendment Regulation 2003 over Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 123, 124, 126, and 137.
Joined as co -respondents in the suit are Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria Ltd, Addax Petroleum Exploration Nigeria Ltd, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Ministry of Petroleum Resources/Department of Petroleum Resources, and the National Petroleum Investment & Management Services (NAPIMS).
According to Dada Awosika and partners, the chamber that filed the suit on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria , the $3 billion unremitted funds came as a result of the oil multinational’s illegal and irregular reliance on Side Letters dated 21 November, 2001, 20 December, 2001, and 24 August, 2004 which were never gazetted.
The government’s move to recover the funds from Addax came three months after a report on how the Chinese firm allegedly paid millions of dollars in bribes to Nigerian officials to secure juicy contracts in the oil industry.