The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) reports that 77 oil and gas companies in Nigeria are indebted to the federal government to the tune of N2.659 trillion.
The debt stems from failure to remit petroleum profit tax, company income tax, education tax, value added tax, withholding tax, royalties, and concessions on rental properties, according to the agency.
NEITI Executive Secretary, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, announced this on Tuesday during a media briefing on the implementation of the EITI in Nigeria.
Additionally, he presented the agency’s scorecard for the past seven months.
According to Orji, the total liabilities of the 77 companies covered by the NEITI process are contained in the agencies’ 2019 report on the oil and gas sector.
According to the NEITI, based on its 2019 audit reports of the oil and gas sector, Nigerian companies owe the government more than $6.48 billion, which is the equivalent of about N2.659 trillion at today’s official exchange rate of N410.35.
According to the NEITI boss, the commission is owed a total of $143.99 million in petroleum profits taxes, $1.08 billion in company income taxes and $201,69 million in education taxes. Others include $18.46Million and £972Thousand as Value Added Tax, $23.91million and £997Thousand as Withholding Tax, $4.357billion as royalty oil, $292.44Million as royalty gas, while $270.187Million and $41.86Million were unremitted gas flare penalties and concession rentals respectively,” he said.
Orji believes that the information is important and timely, as the government is attempting to raise funds to meet citizens’ demands for power, infrastructure, education, insurgency fighting, and job creation for people of all ages.
According to a comparative analysis of what a huge sum of N2.65trn can contribute to economic development, it could have funded the entire capital budget of the federal government in 2020 or even service the federal government’s $2.68billion debt in 2020.