Edun: Oil production data can no longer be shrouded in secrecy

Beloved JohnDecember 12, 20233 min

The dire fiscal state of the country does not allow for vital production and sales data of crude oil to remain shrouded in secrecy, says Minister Edun

The Ministry of Finance had called for a transparent resource management system that allows it to track the production and sales of the country’s petroleum resources.

 The ministry also emphasised the need to monitor the conversation of petroleum revenue from dollars  to naira. 

The minister of finance, Mr. Wale Edun, disclosed this during an interactive session with the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, on Monday, December 11, 2023 at the national assembly, Abuja. 

Edun disclosed that the ministry intends to scrutinise the country’s assets along with those under the control of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL). 

This disclosure comes days after a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, blamed the lack of accountability in the petroleum sector for the economic downturn in the country.

According to him, the NNPCL has failed to remit foreign exchange due to the government into the public purse for years. He also noted that this continued despite the removal of fuel subsidies by the current administration.

Speaking on this, Mr. Edun said “the issue of accounting for oil revenue is garmane, and torchlight must be shone into that. So many commentators have said, we need to have a robust system that identifies the production, sale and exchange rate of naira to dollars. And all those issues are going to be looked at in a comprehensive manner.”

Edun told the committee that the ministry intends to scrutinise tax remittances and create a system that ensures that tax payment is made direct to government coffers. 

He however assured that contrary to the fear of many Nigerians, there’s no plan of increasing taxation, but rather, the government intends to adopt a more efficient means of tax collection.

These, according to him, are some of the major ways of ensuring that the country reaches its projected revenue goal of N18 trillion. 

“Ninety percent of the revenue collected into government  coffers comes from about 9 tax heads, so most of the others collected in the name of taxes and fees does not reach the government. 

“We are looking at a system where at the point of sale, government payment , goes to the government because putting in non-govt hands first, one can expect leakage and inefficiency in the process.

“Also, there’s no plan for an increased tax rate as feared by many.  The plan is increasing the tax revenue for GDP. We intend to work on the tax collection and administration.

It is dependent on private sector investment to grow the economy. We even intend to reduce taxes to allow people to invest more money and for job creation,” he added.

Beloved John

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