Apparently unfazed by the Abuja Court of Appeal judgment which restrained Rivers State government from collecting Value-Added Tax (VAT) and sundry taxes yet in the State, Governor Nyesom Wike has set eyes on his administration’s collection of $750million proceeds expected to accrue from the $10billion Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Train-7 development.
In a statement issued yesterday, by his Media Aide, Kelvin Ebiri, over Sunday’s send-off ceremony in Port Harcourt for out-gone NLNG Managing Director, Tony Attah, the Governor was quoted as saying that, “the 7.5 VAT from the NLNG Train-7 project, will be used to transform the State”.
The figure would amount to $750Million, being 7.5% VAT on the total budgeted Train 7 construction cost of $10Billion.
Wike, during the occasion, harped on the delayed completion of the N120 billion 38Km Bonny-Bodo Road due to the failure of the Federal Government to fulfill its N60Billion counterpart funding for the project.
Noting that every fund expended so far on the project had been released by the partnering NLNG, Wike further asserted that, “The Bonny-Bodo Road is not funded between Federal Government and NLNG. I don’t agree. With due respect, it is funded between NLNG, all states of the federation and the Federal Government.
On the legacy of immediate-past NLNG MD, Wike said Attah will be remembered for overseeing the delivery of NLNG corporate headquarters complex in Port Harcourt while ensuring that all fabrication works for the company’s $10 billion Train-7 were done in Rivers.
He said the convivial relationship Attah nurtured and sustained with the State government has become a challenge for those managing International Oil Companies, (IOCs), to cultivate a better relationship with State governments in the Niger Delta.
He added that by ensuring speedy completion of the NLNG headquarters in Port Harcourt, Attah had proven that the claim of insecurity in the Niger Delta re by IOCs is indefensible.
To the new NLNG MD, Dr. Philip Mshelbila, Wike advised he emulates his predecessor to sustain the existing cordial relationship with the state government.
The governor further used the occasion to re-affirm Rivers State government ownership of OML 11, which was formerly operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company.