The case of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG)

This report presents a case study of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG), Nigeria’s largest gas production facility, and examines the way in which its foreign shareholders – Shell (UK/Netherlands), Total (France) and Eni (Italy) – benefit from excessively generous tax breaks provided by the Nigerian government. The company, NLNG, has been awarded a 10-year tax holiday thanks to an act of parliament created specifically for the venture in Nigeria. This has resulted in the company paying zero taxes for a total period of 12 years: ten years because of the tax break and two further years because of unused tax benefits built up during the 10 years of the tax break. In this report, SOMO has calculated that the total potential lost tax to the Nigerian government amounts to a staggering US$ 3.3 billion. SOMO aims to contribute to the discussion on responsible tax governance and financial transparency by presenting factual evidence that tax breaks given to multinational corporations create unacceptable advantages for them that work against the interests of the Nigerian public. The ultimate goal is to raise public awareness of the use and (negative) impacts of tax holidays by multinational companies, using Nigeria as an illustration.

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