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Lawmakers summon FIRS over tax evasion by oil companies

The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee Investigating the Structure and Accountability of Joint Venture (JV) Business and Production Sharing Contracts (PSCS) of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Ltd has summoned the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

FIRS Chairman, Muhammad Nami was summoned over alleged tax evasion by oil companies. Rep. Abubakar Fulata made this known on Wednesday during the committee’s hearing in Abuja.

He said the non-remittance of appropriate taxes by the oil companies in Nigeria had adverse effects on the economy.

Nami is expected to appear before panel on Novemver 21.

The committee also expressed worry over the inability of FIRS to access to the Stock Certificate of Crude Oil.

The representatives of FIRS, a Director and Special Assistant were not permitted by members of the committee to make presentation as they insisted that only the chairman is expected to speak on behalf of FIRS.

The FIRS representatives had earlier told the committee that the service does not have access to the Stock Certificate of crude oil being lifted.

The representatives said they only relied on the invoice produced and presented to it by the oil companies, this, the committee referred to as ridiculous.

The committee alleged that oil companies were not paying the required taxes while many of them collected huge amount of money from federation account in the name of joint venture with NNPC.

The committee said that NNPC continued to pay money running into billions of dollars to oil companies in the name of joint venture despite presidential directive halting it since 2018.

Representatives of Chevron Nigeria Ltd who appeared before the committee were also sent back as the committee insisted that the Chairman of the company must appear to answer questions regarding their activities in the country.

The probe panel adjourned sitting to November 21.

Writing by Muzha Kucha