OrderPaperToday – The of Representatives has resolved to set up an adhoc committee to interface with 77 oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria with a view to facilitating the recovery of a reported N2.6 trillion owed to the federal government.

The resolution was sequel to a motion titled “Urgent Need to Recover Outstanding Debts owed the Federal Government by Oil and Gas Companies in Nigeria,” presented by Ahmed Munir (APC, Know) during plenary session on Wednesday.

Leading debate on the motion, Munir recalled that the report by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) shows that 77 oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria were owing the federal government a whooping N2.6 trillion.

The lawmaker informed that the debts, if recovered, will help to boost the economy of the nation which was barely struggling.

“The debts accrued 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,” he said, adding:

“Such a huge debt is being overlooked at a critical time when the country needs funding for its annual budget. 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.”

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, he said further.

Adopting the motion, the House urged the NEITI, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to provide necessary data needed to facilitate recovery of debts owed by the oil and gas companies.

The adhoc committee is be chaired by the deputy leader of House, Peter Akpatasson (APC, Edo)

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