Lagos, Nigeria | – Nigeria has now recovered over $2 billion, of a total $9.6 billion owed by oil and gas companies operating in the country in unpaid taxes, royalties and signature bonuses over 2009-2011, the country’s oil and gas industry auditor said Thursday.
In its audit report for 2007-2011, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative also said that Nigeria earned Naira 30 trillion ($188 billion) in revenue from oil and gas sales over the five year period. The agency said that following a fresh tax recovery drive that began last December, companies including Chevron, ExxonMobil and Total, paid Naira 64.4 billion ($403 million) in taxes. This adds to the $1.8 billion in unpaid dues recovered from companies at the end of 2013.
“Through the work of the Inter Ministerial Task Team set up last December by the Federal Government, NEITI … has made recoveries from the 2009-2011 audit report a total of N64.4 billion from some companies,” NEITI said.
In 2012, NEITI, in its audit report covering 2009-2011, stated that oil and gas companies operating in the West African country owed $9.6 billion in unpaid taxes, royalties and signature bonuses.
Although NEITI then did not give the breakdown of which companies owed how much, it did however, reveal that state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. failed to remit into the federation account $3.996 billion in oil and gas revenue earned between 2009 and 2011.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who had been under pressure to clean up the country’s oil industry which pumps more than 2 million b/d of crude, promptly directed revenue agencies to recover the money.
NEITI said in February this year that it had commenced the audit of the oil and gas industry for 2012, which would cover companies’ tax and royalty payments to the government, checks on crude oil production and coastal liftings, and subsidy payments.