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N2.6 Trillion Debt: Reps to query NNPC, FIRS, others over NEITI report

The House of Representatives ad hoc committee on recovering outstanding debts owed to the federal government by oil and gas companies in Nigeria has invited the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other agencies for investigation.

Others invited include the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Upstream Regulatory Commission, Midstream, and Downstream Regulatory Authority.

This is based on the National Extractive Industries Extractive Initiative (NEITI) report that 77 oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria are indebted to the federal government to the tune of N2.6 trillion.

Eric Makwe, the committee clerk, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja against the backdrop of the 2020 NEITI report.

He explained that the invitation was based on the motion at plenary on November 30, 2021, which cited the NEITI report that 77 oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria have debt obligations of N2.6 trillion to the federal government.

The clerk noted that the house had urged NEITI, the National Oil Spill Detection Agency (NOSDRA) and the FIRS to provide necessary data needed to facilitate recovery of the debts.

He, however, said Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, who is heading the 18-member ad hoc committee investigating the matter, assured that it would thoroughly investigate all issues raised in the report.

Mr Makwe said the probe concerned outstanding liabilities owed by oil and gas, including payments of royalties, levies, rents, concessions, rentals, and penalties.

Other taxes include petroleum profit tax, company income tax, education tax, value-added tax, and withholding tax.

He added that the committee has gone into action and is already making exciting discoveries.

(NAN)

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