Nigeria rakes in $293bn in oil taxes

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By Adewale Sanyaolu

Nigeria has raked in $293 billion in taxes from oil firms operating in the country, the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said.
Its acting Executive Secretary, Mr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, made the disclosure during the inauguration of  Companies’ Forum in Lagos.
The $293 billion income for the country is the latest computation of revenue earnings for the oil sector from NEITI,covering a six-year period(2006-2012).
The NEITI boss equally disclosed that the agency has signed off agreements that will herald the commencement of work on the new audit report.
“The signing off of the 2013 audit report will be done today (Friday last week) 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 added 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 of secrecy, when tax and royalty payments made by companies was  at the disposal of the exclusive few, is 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 in public dormain, adding that 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.
He noted 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 ongoing reforms of the extractive industries by the present administration would help promote good business environment, enhance opportunity for profit and inflow of investments into the sector.
The Chair of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Clare Short, expressed the support of the world body to the ongoing reforms of the oil gas and mining sector in Nigeria as recommended by NEITI.
In a message to the inauguration of NEITI-Companies’ Forum, the EITI Chair stated: “The international community watches with admiration how NEITI has over the past 11 years fed comprehensive and reliable information into the Nigeria public on management of its oil, gas and solid minerals sector. The key test is whether the new administration will deliver on its number four priority to implement the findings of these NEITI reports.

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