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NEITI Audit: FG Recovers N600bn From Oil Companies

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The Federal Government has recovered N600bn from oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria which comprised unpaid taxes, royalties, penalties and commission on rentals that were identified in the audit report of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Data seen in Abuja on Friday showed that the total liabilities of the 77 oil firms that were involved as at 2019 was N2.6tn, based on figures captured in the audit report of NEITI.

The House of Representatives invited the firms in a bid to recover the funds and it was gathered that after the intervention by the lawmakers, the companies commenced the process of remitting some of the funds.

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Documents obtained by The PUNCH in Abuja on Friday indicated that while the total recovery pre-2021 and before the pronouncement of NEITI was N900bn, the additional amount recovered after NEITI’s pronouncement/National Assembly review was N600bn.

NEITI conducts a financial, physical and process audit that assesses and reconciles physical and financial flows within Nigeria’s oil and gas industry in line with the EITI Standard and the NEITI Act 2007.

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The oil and gas audit has the objective of confirming the outstanding payments (liabilities) due to the federation from each covered company through the respective revenue collection government agencies.

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The management of NEITI had repeatedly expressed concern about the liabilities highlighted in its various reports considering the high demand for government revenue for development projects.

The House of Representatives, had during a plenary session, noted the statement by NEITI that 77 oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria were owing the Federal Government over N2.6tn.

The House had also noted that the debts accrued from the 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.

Speaking to select journalists on the development in Abuja on Friday, the Executive Secretary, NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya-Orji, said it was the duty of the agency to make data of the country’s extractive industries available to government.

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He also stated that the audit report of the oil industry for 2021 would be ready before the end of this year, adding that it would further provide updates on the remittances so far made by the oil firms to the Federal Government.

Ogbonnaya-Orji said, “The 2021 (oil and gas sector) report will be concluded and published before the end of the year. The scope of the report is to establish what companies paid to the government within the given the year of 2021 and how much of that money did government received.

“We equally want to establish if those companies paid what they should pay and if the government actually received what it should receive, as well as the variances if any.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Debt To World Bank Rises By $660m

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“We want to establish the quantity of crude that is produced, how much of that can be accounted for, and how much was stolen. We should establish the amount that was exported, reserved for local consumption and how was this reserved one managed.”

PUNCH

 

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CAC To Cancel Certificates Of BDCs With Revoked Licences

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The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has said it would cancel the certificates of incorporation of Bureaux De Change(BCDs) whose licences have been revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria( CBN).

The Nation reported in February the CBN revoked the licences of 4,173 Bureau De Change operators over their failure to meet regulatory guidelines.

In a statement by its acting Director, Corporate Communications, Sidi Hakama, CBN explained that the regulatory provisions flouted include nonpayment of all necessary fees within the stipulated period.

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CBN said: “The affected institutions failed to observe at least one of the following regulatory provisions: Payment of all necessary fees, including licence renewal, within the stipulated period in line with the guidelines.

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“Rendition of returns in line with the guidelines; compliance with guidelines, directives, and circulars of the CBN, particularly Anti-Money Laundering, Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Counter-Proliferation Financing regulations.”

However, in line with the above directive by the CBN, the CAC in a notice on its website on Wednesday, said the certificates would be cancelled within three months if the affected companies do not change the names and objects of such companies.

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The general public is hereby informed that following the revocation of the operational licenses of 4,173 Bureau De Change companies by the Central Bank of Nigeria vide a Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette (Vol. 111) No. 37 of February 27, 2024 for noncompliance with Regulatory Standards, the Corporate Affairs Commission in the exercise of its powers under section 8(1)(e) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 advises these companies to within three months from the date of this publication, change the names and objects of such companies.

“Failure to change the names and objects within the stipulated time frame shall result in cancellation of certificate of incorporation and dissolution. It is to be noted that it is unlawful for a company whose certificate has been deemed dissolved to carry on business,” the CAC notice reads.

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FG Suspends Taxes On Maize, Wheat, Rice, Others

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The Federal Government has suspended duties, tariffs and taxes on some essential food items imported through land and sea borders.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, announced this at the National Press Centre, Abuja.

Kyari also said the Federal Government has also inaugurated the Renewed Hope National Livestock Transformation Implementation Committee to develop and implement policies that prioritize livestock development and align with the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

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He stated that the listed food items, which include maize, wheat, husked brown rice and cowpeas, will enjoy a 150-day Duty-Free Import Window.

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He added that the move is part of the Presidential Accelerated Stabilization and Advancement Plan, which is aimed at achieving food security and economic stability in the country.

According to him: “The Federal Government has announced a 150-day Duty-Free Import Window for Food Commodities, suspension of duties, tariffs and taxes for the importation of certain food commodities (through land and sea borders). These commodities include maize, husked brown rice, wheat and cowpeas.

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“Under this arrangement, imported food commodities will be subjected to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP).

“I am glad to reiterate that the Government’s position exemplifies standards that would not compromise the safety of the various food items for consumption.

“In addition to the importation by the private sector, the Federal Government will import 250,000MT of wheat and 250,000MT of maize. The imported food commodities in their semi-processed state will target supplies to the small-scale processors and millers across the country.”

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CAC Extends PoS Registration Deadline 

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The Corporate Affairs Commission has announced the approval to extend the mandatory Point of Sales agents, super agents and sole agents registration to September 5th, 2024.

The commission made the announcement in a statement signed by its management and posted on its Facebook page on Saturday, giving a 60-day extension.

It said the extension is to give sufficient time to operators particularly those in remote areas who might have encountered network challenges to so register and continue with their businesses.

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The statement read, “The Corporate Affairs Commission wishes to notify Fintech Operators also known as Point of Sales Operators that the initial deadline of 7th July 2024 given for the registration of sole Agents, Super Agents and Agents has been extended for sixty days beginning from 7th July 2024 to the 5th September 2024.

“This is to give sufficient time to Operators particularly those in remote areas who might have encountered network challenges to so register and continue with their businesses.”

It added operators who continue to disobey after the new deadline will risk losing their businesses and facing prosecution for assisting criminal activities.

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“Operators who fail or refuse to register at the end of the extended deadline run the risk of losing such businesses and prosecution for aiding and abetting criminal activities,” it said.

 

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