Oil firms pay $293b taxes in six years, says NEITI
The oil companies operating in the country have paid over $293 billion to the Federal Government coffers in terms of taxes, royalties and dividends between 2006 to 2012, going by the data from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
The Acting Executive Secretary, NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, who disclosed this during the inauguration of companies’ forum in Lagos, also disclosed that agency has signed off agreements that will herald the commencement of work on the new audit report.
“The signing off of the 2013 audit repot will be done today, while procurement has already commenced” Orji said.
He however gave the breakdown of the payments as; $44.7 billion was paid in 2006, $43.7 billion paid in 2007, $60.4billion in 2008 and $30billion in 2009. In 2010, the companies paid $44.9 billion, $68.4 billion in 2011 and $62.9 billion was paid to government in 2012.
Orji informed the Companies Forum in Lagos that the payments were made by a combination of 42 oil companies covered by the NEITI Audit process during this period.
He explained that the era when tax and royalty payments made by companies was a secret at the disposal of the exclusive few was over, adding that Nigeria’s membership of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative has enthroned a regime of openness and voluntary public disclosure in the industry.
The Acting Executive Secretary stated that the work of NEITI is to place vital information and crucial facts at the public domain. The information is required by the citizens through the civil society, the government and the companies to promote dialogue, constructive debates that would lead to reforms and prudent resource management for the benefit of all citizens.
Orji explained that NEITI decided to establish a special forum for companies in the extractive industry to provide a platform for effective exchange of information and productive engagement in the implementation of EITI in Nigeria.
He said that full participation and support of companies in the on-going reforms of the extractive industries by the present administration will help to promote good business environment, enhance opportunity for profit and inflow of investments into the sector.
The Chair of the global EITI Clare Short, expressed the support of the world body to the on going reforms of the oil gas and mining sector in Nigeria as recommended by NEITI.