The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on the recovery of outstanding N2.6 trillion debts owed to the Federal Government by the oil and gas companies, has demanded evidence of taxes, royalties and levies paid by the companies.
This investigation is based on the report of the National Extractive Industries Extractive Initiative (NEITI) that 77 Oil and Gas companies operating in Nigeria owed the Nigeria owed the Nigerian government over N2.6 trillion.
The Chairperson of the committee, Nkeikura Onyejeocha, consisting of 18 members investigated the matter and made a demand on Wednesday, the 16th of March 2022 in Abuja.
She summoned the companies to make appropriate submission and provide evidence of payments and outstanding from 2019 till date. She also noted that a failure to do as she has mentioned will attract other legislative approach to enforce full compliance of its directives by the invited companies and the government agencies.
Ms. Onyejeocha instructed the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to furnish the payment records on field basis from 2019 till date as well as outstanding as at March 12. She said that NURPC should provide detailed information of crude oil production and lifting, gas production and utilisation and gas flare including payment from 2019 to till date.
The chairman also asked the NNPC to provide details of the $440 million waived to Nigeria Petroleum Development Companies as well as profile outstanding debt owed to NURPC, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and other government revenue collecting agencies.
Ms. Onyejeocha called on the FIRS to also provide details payment and outstanding tax obligation as of March 16, including details of tax waivers given to oil and gas companies from 2019 till date.
She stated that the details needed clarification on the deduction made on remittances on the federation account from domestic crude sales proceeds.
She went further to include that the clarification provided should include details of NEEDS Assessment cost breakdown and procurement process on the selection of vendors for pipeline repairs and maintenance.
She said that the detailed breakdown of the crude and product losses pipeline break point and volume including third-party government agency validation certification should be provided.
She also said that the Central Bank of Nigeria should also provide the bank statements of FIRS, NNPC, NURPC for confirmation of receipts of outstanding liabilities from 2019 till date.
She concluded that the investigative hearing was not just to be done, but it was needed for accountability and transparency as she stated that “we are not happy that we can’t make use of resources available to us.”