The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) is asking international oil companies (IOCs) to engage relevant agencies of government in reconciling their accounts and taxes, which may put them on war path with the Federal Government, especially the over $7 billion debts owed the government stated in Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) audit reports.
Emmanuel Ojugbana, public relations officer of the oil workers’ union who stated this, said the debts as captured in the NEITI audit reports must be reconciled, and this was important because it would further promote transparency and accountability in the fiscal regime process of the oil and gas industry.
The industry has been the major focus of the government since May 29, when the current administration came into office.
It would be recalled that NEITI has promised to help the Federal Government recover over $7 billion owned by oil companies as cases of under-payments and under-assessment, arising from subjective interpretation of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and tax laws.
“We have consistently demanded that the government on its part should settle the debts that it owed the oil companies, which is halting their inability to fund the Joint Ventures (JV) operations.
“The oil companies as corporate citizens should also live up to their contractual and statutory obligations by resolving the issues around stipulated taxes and charges as contained in their MoU and the law which will further build trust and utmost good faith in their contractual and business relationship with the Nigerian government,” said Ojugbana