The Federal Government has been asked by the House of Representatives to recover N2.6 trillion purportedly due to it by 77 oil and gas companies operating in the country.
The House also established an Adhoc committee, led by Deputy Chief Whip Nkiruka Onyejeocha, to resolve what the federal government and oil firms owe each other in joint venture cash calls.
It also called for a thorough inventory of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s assets and liabilities, as well as its subsidies, before they were transferred to the newly formed NNPC Limited.
As a result, the House asked the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to disclose the information needed to aid in the collection of debts owed by the oil companies.
Ahmed Munir and Ibrahim Isiaka made the demands during deliberations on two different notice motions.
Munir cited a NEITI report stating that the 77 oil and gas corporations owed the government N2.6 trillion.
According to him, the debt arose from the oil corporations’ inability to pay the government Petroleum Profit Tax, Company Income Tax, Education Tax, Value Added Tax, Withholding Tax, Royalties, Penalties, and Rental Concession.
He was concerned that the administration was overlooking such a large debt at a critical moment when the country needed money to pay its annual budget.
The debts, if recovered, may be used to finance some government debts and cover at least 16.2% of the 2022 budget deficit, according to the lawmaker.
As a result, the House decided to form an Adhoc committee made up of members with an understanding of the oil and gas industry’s operations to conduct the probe.
The members of the Onyejeocha -led panel are Uju Kingsley, Ifeanyi Momah, Dennis Idahosa, Eta Mboma, Taiwo Oluga, Abbas Adigun, Abdullahi Ibrahim Halims, Benjamin Mzondu, Victor Mela, Nazif Sani, Musa Fagangawo, Vincent Ofumelu, Ahmed Munir, Hamisu Ibrahim, and Obinna Chidoka.