FG Recovers N2.6 Trillion Income From Oil Companies

Following the National Assembly’s intervention in the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the Federal Government has recovered N2.6 trillion in income from oil companies.

This occurred on Tuesday in Abuja during a Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and media engagement on validating the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

As of March 2022, according to NEITI, 2.6 billion dollars were still owing to firms. NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, remarked

Nigeria is one of the member countries that participate in the EITI validation, which is carried out every three years as a quality control measure to determine the degree of compliance and advancement in the implementation of its criteria.

Orji said that the debt collection was made possible by NEITI’s financial report.

“By the time we release 2021 report,  any company owing Nigeria we have no choice than to invite EFCC to take over and handle it as an economic crime,” he said.

NEITI’s appearance at the National Assembly to defend its position based on facts it presented, he claimed, caused the recovery.

A list of 77 oil and gas corporations that owed the government up to 6.8 billion dollars was recently published by NEITI in its 2019 reports.

The National Assembly had invited the organisation to appear and defend it by outlining how it came to that conclusion.

Orji claims that as soon as it produced the 2020 report to support this, the businesses that wanted to safeguard their brand names rushed to the appropriate agencies to make payments.

He disclosed that from 77 entities, there were just 51, and the total dropped to 3.6 billion dollars.

“Which shows that from the point we released that information, a lot of money came in. None of them disputed our report. Rather they were giving excuses for why they did not pay.

“The money includes 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).

“NEITI collects nothing, all we are asking is for us to be recognised and offered to thank you,” he said.

He said that the NEITI had enhanced the availability, accessibility, and demand for verified information and data in the public domain.

He asserted that the success of the changes in the extractives sector should be credited to President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

“The content of our up-to-date reports is very incisive and is shaping public debates,” the executive secretary said.

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