The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called on all International Oil Companies operating in the country to resolve the $7bn they allegedly owe the Federal Government as stated by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
The National Public Relations Officer, PENGASSAN, Mr. Emmanuel Ojugbana, who spoke against the backdrop of the allegation contained in the NEITI’s audit reports, was quoted in a statement on Monday as saying that the reconciliation was expedient to both the affected companies and government agencies to ensure transparency and accountability in the fiscal regime process of the oil industry.
The statement noted that the industry had been the major focus of the government in recent times.
It said, “Therefore, the business and social partners are urged to clear themselves of the load of legal, tax and other fiscal issues that are pinned on the oil and gas sector as the burden-bearer of the economy.
“It would be recalled that NEITI had promised to help the Federal Government recover over $7bn owned by oil companies as cases of under-payments and under-assessment, arising from subjective interpretation of Memoranda of Understanding and tax laws.”
Ojugbana said, “PENGASSAN believes and has consistently demanded that government should settle the debts owed oil companies as it is affecting their ability to fund joint ventures operations. The oil companies, as corporate citizens, should also live up to their contractual and statutory obligations.