The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative has said that oil producing companies operating in the country owe the Federal Government $9.81bn (about N1.3tn) in underpayment and non-payment of taxes on their operations. The Chairman, NEITI, Mr. Ledum Mitee, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ forum on the Petroleum Industry Bill, according to a statement issued by the Director of Communications, NEITI, Mr. Ogbonnaya Orji, in Abuja.
Mitee urged relevant government agencies responsible for the custody and management of extractive resources’ revenue, including the Federal Inland Revenue Services, Central Bank of Nigeria, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Department of Petroleum Resources to take practical steps to recover the outstanding money. He explained that the debts were enough to wipe out the fiscal deficit in this year’s federal budget.
According to him, the debts, which accumulated between 1999 and 2008, have remained because the agencies responsible for their collection have not made adequate efforts to recover them.