…Nigeria Has Lost Over N1 Trillion From Tax Evasion in Oil Swap – FIRS
Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara Tuesday advocated for a more efficient management of the crude oil sector in the bid to reposition it and make its dealings transparent in the face of dwindling oil prices.
The Speaker made the call at a public hearing of an ad hoc committee investigating the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC on oil swap deals.
“This is with a view to revitalising the sector and to make it more efficient and transparency driven. The issue of transparency in the management of the oil sector considering its significance to the economy of Nigeria is at the very heart of our Nation’s development challenge.
“Especially at this time of dwindling revenue resulting from the continued drop in oil prices. You don’t have to be an economist to observe that if we do not improve on the management of available resources and effective utilisation of oil/petroleum resources to drive the economy, our developmental aspirations will continue to emaciate.
“It is in recognition of this pivotal role which the oil sector plays in aiding development that the present House of Representatives decided to place enormous emphasis on the improvement of the sector especially.
“And to insist on the transparent, professional, and efficient management of all resources. This is the only way the Change of Agenda of this administration can be actualized,’’ Dogara said.
At the public hearing, The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS said that Nigeria has lost over N1 trillion from the non payment of taxes by companies that have partnered with NNPC on crude oil swap.
The Chairman, Babatunde Fowler told the committee that he was unaware of the transactions until the he was communicated by the investigative committee
He said that he would be working closely with consultants to carry out an internal audit of the Ministries Department and Agencies, MDAs to get up to date records on taxes paid by companies.
Companies owing taxes as presented by Fowler are as follows; Taleveras owes N1.1 trillion and has only paid N290 million. Iieto Nigeria limited owes N518 million and has only paid N262 million. Ontario owes N524 million and has N513 million.
According to him, Duke Oil which is a not registered company in Nigeria but a subsidiary of the NNPC, between August 2013 and 2014 has only paid N26.5 million adding that Transfigura since its operation in the country has not filed any tax returns.
Earlier, Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee, Zakari Muhammed said that revenues from the nation’s extractive industries should be transparently managed in accordance with global best practice to enhance Nigeria’s revenue and economic fortunes.