By Obafemi Oredein


IBADAN, Nigeria-Royal Dutch Shell PLC`s (RDSA, RDSA.LN) Nigerian units said Tuesday that over $6.397 billion was paid to the Nigerian government and its agencies in 2018.

Bamidele Odugbesan, a Shell spokesman, said in a statement that the amount was paid by Shell exploration and production companies in Nigeria comprising The Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria Ltd., or SPDC, and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Co. Ltd., (SNEPCo).

He said the 2018 payment represent a 48% increase over payments by the companies to the Nigerian government in 2017 which was $4.322 billion.

Nigeria is Africa`s biggest oil exporter and depends on the commodity for over 90% of its foreign exchange earnings and 70% of government revenue, according to the International Monetary Fund.

In the breakdown of the 2018 payments, Mr. Bamidele said the Shell companies paid $3.776 billion to the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. as production entitlement while $1.286 billion was paid in taxes to the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

He added that another $1.253 billion went to the country`s Department Petroleum Resources for royalties and fees, while $81.5 million was remitted to the Niger Delta Development Commission.

International oil companies operating in Nigeria pay a certain percentage of their earnings to the commission to develop the Niger Delta-where the bulk of Nigeria`s oil is produced, and pacify armed militants there who claim that the area hasn't had a fair share of the country`s oil revenue.

According to Mr. Bamidele, the payments formed part of the four documents released on Tuesday by the group chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell, Ben Van Beurden, to signal the global oil giant`s "renewed commitment to greater transparency."

The documents are: Shell Sustainability Report; Industry Associations Climate Review, Nigeria Briefing Notes; and Payments to Government Report.

Osagie Okunbor, managing director of SPDC and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, described the reports as "further testament to Shell`s efforts to increase transparency around activities that are important to investors, government and civil society."


-- Obafemi Oredein; Dow Jones Newswires


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 02, 2019 15:24 ET (19:24 GMT)

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