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N2.6m debt: Reps invite NNPC, NDDC, others for investigation

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In its bid to investigate over N2.6 million debt owed by oil companies, the House of Representatives has invited the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Niger Delta Development Commission, and many others before the House.

The other bodies invited by the House Ad-hoc Committee on the recovery of outstanding debts owed to the Federal Government by Oil and Gas companies in Nigeria include the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Upstream Regulatory Commission, Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

This is based on the report of the National Extractive Industries Extractive Initiative that 77 Oil and Gas companies operating in Nigeria were owing the Federal Government over N2.6 trillion.

The Clerk of the Committee, Mr Eric Makwe, said this in a statement on Monday in Abuja, against the backdrop of the 2020 NEITI report.

He said 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 were owing the Federal Government over N2.6 trillion.

The clerk also noted that the House directed NEITI, the National Oil Spill Detection Agency, and the FIRS to provide necessary data that was needed in the investigation that would help to facilitate recovery of the debts.

He also said that the head of the 18-member ad hoc committee investigating the debt, Representative Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, had assured that the committee would thoroughly investigate all issues raised in the NEITI report.

“The probe is in respect of outstanding liabilities owed by Oil and Gas which include payments of royalties, levies, rents, concessions, rentals, and penalties,” he said.

Others are taxes, including petroleum profit tax, company income tax, education tax, Value Added Tax, withholding tax, among others.

Makwe also noted that the major concern of the lawmakers was on the current poor revenue structure and rising debt profile which the government was battling.

It was gathered that the committee had already begun the investigation and was already making interesting discoveries.

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