From Joe Effiong, Uyo

ExxonMobil has absolved itself from allegation that International Oil Companies (IOCs) have defaulted in making their three percent contributions to the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC).

The company said the recent statement by the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Sen Godswill Akpabio that IOCs were not making their contributions to the NDDC did not apply to them.

Manager Media and Communications, Ogechukwu Udeagha, who explained this while interacting with journalists as part of activities to mark the Correspondents Chapel Week, of the NUJ, Akwa Ibom State Council in Uyo on Tuesday,  said the company has remitted N67.5 billion to the interventionist agency in the past 19 years.

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He also said the company has not shirked in its corporate social responsibility as evident in some of its social investments in the areas of its operations.

He described as irony the fact that the people of the region were “asking the OICs to do the work that NDDC is supposed to do.”

Udeagha who was flanked by the Manager, Public Affairs and Government Relations, Effiong Esumo, also refuted claims that the firm was not paying tax adequately to the Akwa Ibom state government  as its employees pay between 6 and 7 billion naira annually as tax to the state government.

“70 percent of our staff live and work  here in the state and we pbillion to the state government through PAYE and of course the 13 percent derivation. You can therefore realize the impact we are making on the state economy. We are closely linked with the state government and it’s important that we work together,” he said.