Reps Probe N2.6trn Debts Owed FG By 77 Oil Firms, Gbajabiamila Alarmed

A file photo of House of Representatives members seated in the Green Chambers.
A file photo of House of Representatives members seated in the Green Chambers.

 

The House of Representatives has ordered an immediate investigation into debts totalling N2.6 trillion allegedly owed the Federal Government by oil and gas companies operating in the country.

A report by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) which contains the figure, said to be accruals from “failure of the firms to remit Petroleum Profit Tax, Company Income Tax, Education Tax, Value Added Tax, Withholding Tax, Royalties, Penalties and Concession on rentals to the Federal Government.”

The House, which was presided over by the Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, on Wednesday, raised an Adhoc committee to investigate the matter after the lawmaker representing Lere Federal Constituency of Kaduna State, Rep. Ahmed Munir, brought it up the floor through a motion on notice.

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His motion, which received unanimous endorsement by his colleagues, reads partly, “The House, concerned that such a huge debt is being overlooked at a critical time when the country needs funding for its annual budget.

“Cognisant that if debts are recovered, the money could be used to service some of the Federal Government’s debts as well as fund up to 16.2 per cent of the 2022 budget deficit.

“Also cognisant that recovery of the debts is critical in this period of dwindling revenues especially as the Covid-19 pandemic has grossly affected the country’s economy.”

The Speaker and most members were jolted on hearing about the huge debt figure. “N2.6tn is a lot of money. Hon. Munir, are you really sure of this figure?”

However, a member from Ogun State, Rep. Isiaka Ibrahim, advised the House to proceed on the side of caution by conducting what he called a “proper investigation.”

He argued that there was a possibility that some of the debts might be due to delays in the reconciliation of figures between the federal government and the oil firms.

“Let us carry out a proper investigation on what oil firms owe the FG and what the FG owes the oil firms,” the lawmaker added.

Isiaka noted that there had been some unresolved issues between the two sides relating to Joint Venture (JV) Cash Calls.

Nonetheless, the motion secured a unanimous voice vote and an Adhoc committee was set up by Speaker Gbajabiamila to give effect to the House resolution within four weeks.

77 Oil Companies Owing FG N2.6trn – NEITI

NEITI Executive Secretary, Dr. Ogbonnaya Orji speaks during a press conference in Abuja on September 28, 2021.

 

Seventy-seven oil companies owe the Federal Government N2.6 trillion debt, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said.

The debt arises from the failure to remit petroleum profit tax, company income tax, value-added tax, royalty, and concession on rentals.

NEITI Executive Secretary, Dr. Ogbonnaya Orji disclosed this on Tuesday while presenting the agency’s scorecard in the last seven months during a press briefing in Abuja.

“The NEITI reports based on findings in its 2019 audit of the oil and gas sector show that oil and gas companies in Nigeria owe government about $6.48bn, which equals N2.66tn at today’s exchange rate of N410.35,” he said.

“A breakdown of the figures shows that a total of $143.99m is owed as petroleum profit taxes, $1.089bn as company income taxes, and $201.69m as education tax.

“Others include $18.46m and £972,000 as Value Added Tax, $23.91m and £997,000 as withholding tax, $4.357bn as royalty oil, $292.44m as royalty gas, while $270.187m and $41.86m were unremitted gas flare penalties and concession rentals respectively.”

While underscoring the importance of the funds to the economy, he said that the agency is set to take measures to recover the money.

According to the NEITI boss, the disclosure was important in view of the government’s current search for revenue to address the demand for steady power, good roads, quality education, fight against insurgency, and job creation.

Orji explained that NEITI decided to provide relevant information and data to support the government’s efforts at recovering this money.

He also cautioned oil firms that NEITI would no longer watch while these debts continued to remain in its reports unaddressed.

ICPC, NEITI To Tackle Corruption In Extractive Industries

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs

 

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) will jointly work with the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to tackle corruption in the extractive industry.

The Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, (SAN) gave this indication during a visit to the corporate headquarters of the Commission by the top management of NEITI led by its Executive Secretary, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji.

Owasanoye stated that ensuring transparency and accountability of the extractive industries has become necessary due to its importance as the largest revenue earner for the nation.

Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, (SAN)

 

He assured that the collaboration with the NEITI will help recover revenues for the government and block loopholes in the extractive industries.

He said, “We will use our own statutory mandate and enforcement powers to back up NEITI’s work for the collective interest of our country.

“The ICPC will also beam its searchlight on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) in the revenue side of governance as part of its preventive mandate.”

The ICPC boss decried that the existing governing law for NEITI was over sixty years old, and therefore encouraged the new leadership of the organisation to ensure that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) law was passed by the National Assembly.

“The vulnerability of the extractive sector is what led to the PIB. NEITI has to remain focused and steadfast in ensuring that the PIB law is passed,” Owasanoye said.

Responding to NEITI Executive Secretary’s request for capacity building and exchange of information, he reiterated that the Commission was open to working together with the Initiative.

Earlier, the leader of the NEITI delegation, Dr. Orji, while explaining the purpose of the visit, said that the agency was facing governance issues and corruption in the extractive industries because it lacked the powers to arrest and prosecute.

The Executive Secretary called for the establishment of an Extractive Industries Desk in the ICPC.

The setting of the Extractive Industries Desk, according to him, will enhance the collaboration between the two organisations to tackle the problem of corruption.

“We can leverage on ICPC’s enforcement powers to help us so that those people we are dealing with will have an understanding that with their powers to bite, there would be consequences.”

“We cannot function well without working closely with you to help us build on our strengths and close gaps of weaknesses,” Orji said.

Oil Worth $42bn Stolen In Nigeria Within Nine Years – NEITI

 

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said that Nigeria lost about $42 billion to crude theft as well as domestic and refined petroleum products losses between 2009 and 2018.

This is according to the latest edition NEITI’s Policy Brief titled “Stemming the Increasing Cost of Oil Theft to Nigeria” published Wednesday in Abuja.

In its brief, the NEITI gave a detailed breakdown of what the nation had lost including $38.5 billion on crude theft alone and $1.6 billion on domestic crude and another $1.8 billion on refined petroleum products.

NEITI also stated that Nigeria loses an average of $11 million daily, $349 million in a month and about $4.2 billion annually to crude and product losses arising from stealing, process lapses and pipeline vandalism.

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These loses were blamed on the failure of the Nigerian government to adopt the oil fingerprinting technology as well as the lack of qualitative metering instruments at the various facilities across the country.

The report states that oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other criminal activities have deeply affected the lives of people living within the environments where oil facilities are mounted.

In recommending solutions to oil theft across Nigeria, NEITI said adequate legal sanctions should be handed anyone found wanting or involved in oil theft and other oil related crimes.

Deployment of modern technology to tackle oil leakages was also proffered.

Federal, States, LGs Get N3,84trn FAAC In Six Months – NEITI

NEITI, NNPC, Federation Account

 

The Federal, States and Local governments shared N3.84trillion allocations between January and June 2019.

This is according to the latest edition of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Quarterly Review.

In a statement by NEITI’s Director, Communications and Advocacy, Orji Orji, that the Federal Government received N1.599 trillion, the 36 states got N1.335 trillion while the 774 local governments shared N792 billion during the period under review.

The FAAC disbursement of N3.84 trillion for the first half of 2019 was slightly lower than the N3.94 trillion disbursed during the same period in 2018  but higher than the N2.78 trillion disbursed in the first half of 2017.

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On a quarter on quarter basis, the second quarter of 2019 was the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2017.

“The quarterly FAAC disbursements from Q1 2013 to Q2 2019 reveal that the total disbursement of N1.913 trillion in the second quarter of 2019 was the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2017 when N1.700 trillion was disbursed. The figure shows that three quarters of 2018 had total disbursements above N2 trillion.”

Meanwhile, Delta State maintained the lead among states of the Federation with the highest share of FAAC allocation during the period under review with N108.7billion, while Osun received the lowest amount of N10.09billion.

The Report which revealed an interesting pattern of wide disparities in disbursements received by states also noted that the disbursements by a majority of the states (27 states) in the first half of 2019 were lower than disbursements in the first half of 2018. Thus, 75% of the states received higher revenue in the first half of 2018 than the first half of 2019.

NNPC Should Give Account Of $16.8bn NLNG Dividends – NEITI

NEITI Tasks FG To Reclaim NNPC Unremitted Funds
FILE PHOTO

The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on Friday, December 29 released its 2015 Oil and Gas Industry Audit Report.

In the report, which was signed by the Director of Communications, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, the group made different recommendations, one of which is a demand for the Federal Government to give account of over $16.8 billion collected as dividends since the inception of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) in 2000.

“In 2015, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) paid $1.07 billion as dividend, interest and loan repayment to NNPC, broken down as follows: $1.04 billion as dividends, $3.1 million as interests, and $29.1 million as loan repayment.

“This brings to a total of $16.8 billion NLNG’s payments to NNPC for the period 2000 to 2015. The payments are for the loan grant to NLNG and for the 49% stake that the government holds in the company,” the statement read in part.

NEITI in the statement said further that while NNPC has always confirmed receipt of the payments, it has never shown evidence of remittance to either the Federal Government or to the Federation Account.

NEITI therefore recommended that NNPC should provide documentary evidence of the authorisation to hold the money in trust and to give account of the expenditure from and the status of the $16.8 billion collected in 16 years.

The report also revealed that Nigeria’s oil and gas revenues dropped from $54.5 billion in 2014 to $24.8 billion in 2015 and that Nigeria’s oil production capacity fell from a total 798 million barrels in 2014 to 776 million barrels in 2015.

The report showed that total outstanding revenue from the sector as at 2015 stood at about $3.7 billion and N80 billion, with losses incurred at $2.2 billion and N60 billion, while unreconciled revenues amounted to about N317 billion.

States’ Debt Burden Rises To Over 3.342trn Naira – NEITI

States' Debt Burden Rises To Over 3.342trn Naira - NEITIThe Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says that the debt burden of the 36 States of the Federation has risen to over 3.342 trillion Naira as at 2016.

Lagos, Delta, Osun and Akwa Ibom states topped the debt chart with a total debt profile of 1.262 trillion Naira, representing about 38% of debts owed by the 36 States of the Federation.

The breakdown shows that as at 2016, Lagos State owes 603.25 billion Naira, Delta – 331.95 billion Naira, while Osun and Akwa Ibom are indebted to the tune of 165.91 billion Naira and 161.23 billion Naira respectively.

The information was contained in the third edition of NEITI Quarterly Review, a researched publication of the organisation which focused on Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursements in 2016.

The publication, with facts and data from the National Bureau of Statistics, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, FAAC and Debt Management Office, is consistent with the mandate of NEITI on monitoring of fiscal allocation and statutory disbursement of revenues due to the three tiers of government.

NEITI’s legitimate interest in the debt profiles, revenue generation and management in Nigeria is as a result of the fact that over 70% of the revenues involved are derived from the extractive industry.

According to the publication, States with high debt burden include Benue with 49.15 billion Naira, Edo – 94.54 billion Naira, Enugu – 57.56 billion Naira, Ekiti – 67.3 billion Naira and Kano with 81.05 billion Naira.

It also disclosed that Katsina State was indebted to the tune of 30.03 billion Naira while and Ogun owed 103.75 billion Naira as at 2016.

NEITI further broke down its analysis in a table containing the total revenue, the Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) and debt profile of the 36 States of the federation.

Table: Summary of FAAC Allocations, IGR, Total Revenue and Debt of State Governments (Jan. to Dec. 2016)

StatesTotal FAAC Allocations Received (N billion)Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) (N billion)Total Revenue* (N billion)Total Debt Burden** (N billion)
Abia34.33

 

13.3547.6844.93
Adamawa33.487.5941.0667.93
Akwa Ibom116.6416.59133.24161.23
Anambra34.3514.7949.1520.60
Bauchi39.735.3945.1383.78
Bayelsa87.737.4195.14113.69
Benue37.608.8946.4849.15
Borno40.462.5242.9828.22
Cross River33.5513.5447.09153.54
Delta97.8844.89142.78331.95
Ebonyi30.0911.0341.1346.05
Edo37.3320.6858.0194.54
Ekiti30.182.3932.5767.29
Enugu34.1512.6746.8257.56
Gombe31.413.5734.9863.89
Imo38.125.4343.5588.06
Jigawa37.543.3440.8830.96
Kaduna44.1615.5059.65110.39
Kano55.3234.4689.7881.05
Katsina41.625.5147.1330.03
Kebbi34.953.1338.0876.83
Kogi36.567.7344.2851.05
Kwara30.0816.4646.5445.38
Lagos109.31301.19410.50603.25
Nassarawa30.402.0932.5055.63
Niger39.285.7645.0333.13
Ogun32.6256.3088.92103.75
Ondo47.797.7855.5740.54
Osun31.508.9640.46165.91
Oyo40.5915.6656.2565.59
Plateau34.869.0943.95104.06
Rivers103.9882.10186.08147.98
Sokoto36.546.2242.7722.90
Taraba31.824.1135.9233.83
Yobe32.653.8036.4511.74
Zamfara33.474.2137.6755.71

NDDC Denies Buying Cars Worth Over N1bn

NDDC Denies Buying Cars Worth Over N1bnThe management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has denied the allegations of procurement of over 70 luxury cars each costing tens of millions of Naira, made by the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay.

In a statement issued on Thursday by the Head of Corporate Affairs at the NDDC, Chijioke Amu-Nnadi, the commission denied making such purchases since its current governing board assumed office on November 4, 2016.

According to the statement, the NDDC Chairman, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, and the Managing Director/CEO, Nsima Ekere, as well as the two Executive Directors are still using their private vehicles three months after assumption of duties.

The statement added that the agency is only now in the process of acquiring work vehicles.

The NDDC said it is adhering strictly to due process which includes seeking approval of the Federal Executive Council, expressing its readiness to open its books for audit at any time.

The statement read: “The NDDC is only now in the process of acquiring work vehicles, and is adhering strictly to due process. These include five (5) Toyota Prado jeeps, 10 Toyota Hilux trucks, four (4) Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps, one (1) Toyota Coaster bus and two (2) Toyota Hiace buses.

“The Commission has just received the Due Process Compliance Certificate from the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, and is preparing the mandatory memo for the approval of the Federal Executive Council.

Doing What Is Right

“We wish to restate that the current Board and Management of the NDDC is committed to making its transactions transparent, by adhering strictly to processes and procedures of government, as espoused in the Board’s 4-R Initiative of restoring the Commission’s core mandate, restructuring the balance sheet, reforming our processes and reaffirming a commitment to doing what is right and proper at all times in facilitating the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.

“In this regard, the Commission is also partnering with Bureau for Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and Open Government Partnership (OGP) to improve the Commission’s governance systems, procurement and project implementation processes, in order to plug all loopholes and systematically eliminate all incidences of mismanagement and corruption.

“NDDC is always ready to open its books for audit. We are also committed to responding to all inquiries from well-meaning individuals and groups seeking clarification on rumours and possible false information.

“While asking for support from all stakeholders to enable the Commission succeed in the ambitious task of reforms, the New NDDC is evolving as a responsible public institution and members of the public should feel free to get authentic information on its activities to avoid sensationalism”.

Nigeria Commits To Unveiling Owners Of Extractive Companies By 2020

Nigeria, Extractive Companies, NEITI, EITINigeria has set January 2017 timeline for the development of an actionable roadmap to unveil the real owners of extractive companies in the country by 2020.

The plan is in line with a mandate of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

The Minister for Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, says anonymous companies have been used to fuel and mask corruption in Nigeria.

He also raised concern over the illicit wealth often lodged in foreign countries while Nigerians were denied the benefits of the natural resources.

The minister recommended a public registry of beneficial owners of these companies developed in conjunction with global bodies and other countries, as a way out of the challenge.

He expressed confidence that it would help Nigeria check abuses, grafts and money laundering which have ploughed down the economy and given the country a negative image in the comity of nations.

Dr. Fayemi spoke on Monday at a forum with representatives from nine other African countries and all EITI-implementing countries held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The Deputy Head of EITI, Mr Eddie Rich, told reporters that the meeting was convened to create a roadmap for beneficial ownership disclosure by 2020; that is to unmask the real people behind companies in the extractive sector.

The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr Waziri Adio, also stressed the need for Nigeria to surmount some challenges, saying it gave room for the regional consultative workshop.

Allegation Of Unremitted Dividends

NEITI, in some of its past audit reports, had alleged several irregularities in the extractive industries including unremitted dividends and abuse of the petroleum subsidy regime.

The four year audit reports between 2009 and 2012 contained an alleged unremitted $11.6 billion to the Federation Account.

NEITI Chairman, Mr Mitee Ledum, decried the non-implementation of the audit reports and recommendations to reform the extractive industries.

During a visit to Nigeria some months ago, EITI Chairperson, Mrs Clare Short, urged the Nigerian Government to implement its past reports in its quest to reform the mineral extractive sector of the economy.

Mrs Short was in Nigeria to meet with the government and lend a voice to the proposed reforms in the extractive sector of the economy.

She expressed the view that the Federal Government had a ready-made tool in the reports of NEITI which could be relied upon to reform the sector.

Civil Groups Question Status of PIB, Oil Swap Deal, Others

Kaduna-Refinery PIBSome civil society groups in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory are questioning the status of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which they said had been pending for 12 years before two assemblies.

They said the modification of the bill into five sections appeared different from the original bill presented to the National Assembly.

The groups are building a common alliance to engage the Federal Government and the National Assembly on the reforms in the oil and gas sector.

Members are also questioning the oil swap status of the country and the level of implementation of the findings and recommendations of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Led by the Executive Director of the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice, Mr David Ugolor, the civil groups called for more public disclosure by the executive and the legislative arms of government for enhanced public involvement in these issues which affect the livelihood of the masses.

Senate Constitutes Committee To Probe NEITI Report

Senate, NEITIThe Senate has setup an adhoc committee to look into the audit report of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

This comes after the NEITI report alleged fraud in the Nigeria’s extraction industry to the tune of 12 billion dollars.

The Senate came up with this decision after listening to a presentation by the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr Waziri Adio, on Wednesday at the National Assembly in Abuja.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, announced that the committee has four weeks to submit its report to the upper legislative chamber.

He directed the committee to come up with a draft legislation that would help fight corruption and fraud over non-remittances to the Federation Account.

In his submission, Mr Adio gave recommendations on what should be done to stem the tide of the shortcomings experienced in the extraction sector.

The debate also featured the contributions of some legislators including a representative from Kogi State, Sen. Dino Melaye, and the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Sen. Godswill Akpabio.

FG To Partner States On Solid Minerals Development

Solid MineralsThe Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, says the Federal Government will collaborate with states to strengthen mining activities in the country.

Fayemi, who disclosed this during the National Consultative Meeting on Validation of Roadmap for the Solid Minerals Sector in Kaduna State, explained that this would form a holistic platform for diversifying the nation’s economy.

The Minister with his colleagues in the ministry, commissioners of solid minerals and environment from across the states of the federation and other stakeholders gathered to discuss the road map.

With the dwindling revenue due to fall in global oil price, the Federal Government wants to get the states involved in the exploration of mineral deposits within their domains as part of efforts to diversify the economy.

He listed steps to be taken in order to achieve the objectives to include identifying, streamlining and legalising activities of the large numbers of artisanal miners.

The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Bala Bantex, who stood in for Governor Nasir El-Rufai, commended the Federal Government’s effort of diversifying the nation’s sources of revenue.

He promised that the state will complement all efforts to revitalise the country’s economy.

Other stakeholders at the meeting stressed that solid minerals can drive industrialisation and economic growth in the country if only the Federal Government would allow increased participation by states and private sector in exploration, collection of royalties among others.

According to the 2012 audit report of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Nigeria has about 40 different solid minerals spread across the country, yet on the average, the sector contributes only about 0.34 percent to the country’s GDP.

Stakeholders say the limitation of states in the mining activities is largely responsible for the inactiveness of the sector.