NEITI had mentioned the Mobil debt in its audit report of 2006-2008.
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has commended the decision of the Tax Appeal Tribunal which ordered Mobil, to pay $83.4 million (N13.4 billion) to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
The judgment of the Tax Appeal Tribunal represented Education Tax liability of Mobil, an oil giant, to the federation during the year 2008.
The commendation is contained in a statement issued by NEITI’s Director of Communications, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, on Sunday in Abuja.
Mr. Orji described the judgment as positive development in NEITI’s effort to enthrone transparency in the oil and gas sector.
“NEITI finds this courageous judgment by the tribunal as a fundamental positive development in its efforts to draw national attention to the findings and recommendations on the issues of underpayment and underassessment in royalties,’’ he said.
He said the judgment was also a vindication of the findings of the NEITI 2006 -2008 independent audit of the oil and gas sector.
“In that audit NEITI clearly revealed that Mobil owed $83.28 million Education Tax for 2008.
“However, before this litigation and landmark judgment by the tax appeal tribunal, Mobil had insisted that it had no education tax liability to the Federation,’’
M. Orji said of the $9.8 billion uncovered only $2 billion had been recovered through NEITI efforts, leaving a balance of $7.8 in the hands of companies. He said the judgment was a wake-up call for government agencies to rise up to the challenge and engage companies to remit outstanding revenues due to government.
The statement called on all relevant government agencies saddled with collecting mining and oil and gas revenues to join NEITI to recover all outstanding debts owed the federation.
He stressed the need to use NEITI independent audit reports to recover funds arising from underpayments and underassessment of taxes, rents and royalties as a national priority.