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NEITI: FG Recovers N2.6trn From Oil Firms, $2.6bn Outstanding

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The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said oil and gas companies in the country owe the Federal Government $2.6 billion.

The NEITI, however, said about N2.6 trillion have been recovered from the companies, noting that the money was recovered after a public hearing by the House of Representatives on its 2020 Oil and Gas Industry Audit Report.

The NEITI Executive Secretary, Dr. Ogbonnaya Orji, made the disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday during a Civil Society engagement on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) validation slated for January 2023.

Orji, who said it was important that companies pay their taxes and rates as they do in other jurisdictions, noted that governments need the revenue to finance development projects in the country.

While speaking on the preparation for the EITI validation of the country’s implementation of the standards, the NEITI boss said: “The validation exercise is conducted every three years by the EITI for all its member countries.

“The exercise is a quality assurance mechanism to ascertain the level of compliance and progress in implementing its standards among member countries, including Nigeria.

“You will recall that on 27th February 2019, EITI board proclaimed that Nigeria have made ‘satisfactory progress’ over its implementation of the EITI Standard after undergoing a very rigorous validation exercise at the time under the 2016 EITI standard.

“The exercise is expected to formally commence in January 2023, beginning with the review of completed Validation templates that will be submitted to the global body by the NEITI board/management. The EITI Secretariat will also review other relevant documents (online/offline) on EITI implementation in Nigeria.

“Besides, the EITI Secretariat will issue a public call for stakeholders’ views on progress that have been recorded in implementing the EITI’s requirements and standards in Nigeria within the period under review (February 2019 to February 2022).”

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