Nigeria: As Nigeria expands borrowing, 77 oil companies owe government 2.6 trillion naira

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The debt covers the tax on oil profits, corporate income tax, school tax, value added tax, withholding tax, royalties and rental concessions.

Seventy-seven international and Nigerian oil and gas companies currently owe the Nigerian government $ 6.48 billion (over 2,6 trillion naira), the executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Orji Ogbonnaya, said Tuesday.

He said the debts resulted from non-payment of oil profit tax, corporate income tax, school tax, value added tax, withholding tax, royalties and concessions on rentals. He did not provide the names of the companies.

Speaking at the mid-year review and press conference on the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Ogbonnaya said the figure is based on the findings of the reports from NEITI 2019 audit of the oil and gas sector.

He said the money owed could come in handy at a time when the government borrows money to finance the 2021 budget. The Buhari administration has borrowed from various sources to finance a budget deficit of over 5,000 billion naira. . The latest are multilateral loans totaling $ 5 billion and $ 4 billion raised through Eurobond issuance last week.

Debt Details

Mr. Ogbonnaya said oil and gas companies owed $ 143.99 million in taxes on oil profits, $ 1.089 billion in corporate income tax and $ 201.69 million in tax school.

“Others include $ 18.46million and £ 972k as value added tax, $ 23.91million and £ 997k as withholding tax, $ 4.357bn in royalty oil, $ 292.44 million in royalty gas, while $ 270.187 million and $ 41.86 million were gas flare penalties and unreleased concession rentals, respectively, “he said.

“A comparative analysis of what this colossal sum can bring to economic development shows that it could have covered the entire federal capital budget in 2020 or even served to service the federal government’s debt of $ 2.68 billion. in 2020. In 2021, the 2.659 trillion dollars could finance about 46% of Nigeria’s budget deficit in 2021 of 5.6 trillion naira and is even higher than the total oil revenues projected for 2021.

“That is why it is important that the process of recovering this colossal sum be set in motion to support the government in this period of declining income.”

While assuring that NEITI is determined to help the government recover this money, he called on companies to ensure that they remit the various amounts unpaid against them before the conclusion of the NEITI 2020 audit cycle to government agencies. competent authorities responsible for collecting and remitting these revenues.

“NEITI will no longer monitor as long as these debts remain unanswered in its reports. We will provide all necessary information and data to sister agencies, including anti-corruption agencies whose responsibilities are to collect these debts from government coffers.

“NEITI is committed to ensuring that its reports are linked to visible and measurable impacts. This is a key area in which we want to ensure compliance with the existing rules on remittances owed to the government, ”he said.


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