Nigerian government recovers N2.6trn from oil and gas companies after public hearing

The Nigerian Government has recovered the sum of N2.6 trillion revenue from oil firms through the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) intervention after a public hearing by the House of Representatives on its 2020 Oil and Gas Industry Audit Report.

This was disclosed by Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary of NEITI, on Tuesday, September 14, 2022, in Abuja at its Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and media engagement on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) validation.

The agency had in its 2020 audit report published in March 2022 disclosed that 55 companies operating in the petroleum sector owed the Federation $3.6 billion in unpaid royalties, taxes, and license fees.

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According to him, the revenues include all taxes and VAT being collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and all royalties being collected by the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

He said though, the industry still owed the government $2.6 billion it was important that companies pay their taxes and rates as they do in other jurisdictions.

He noted that the payment of these revenues would help the government finance development projects in the country.

While also speaking on the EITI validation of the country’s implementation of the standards, he explained that the validation exercise is conducted every three years by the EITI for all its member countries.

“The exercise is a quality assurance mechanism to ascertain the level of compliance and progress in implementing its standards among member countries, including Nigeria.

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“You will recall that on February 27, 2019, EITI board proclaimed that Nigeria have made “satisfactory progress” over its implementation of the EITI Standard after undergoing a very rigorous validation exercise at the time under the 2016 EITI standard,” he said.

He explained that the meeting was to help the country prepare for the validation exercise.

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