NEITI executive secretary, Ogbonnaya Orji, disclosed this on Tuesday at the civil society organisations (CSO) and media engagement on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) validation in Abuja.
Orji said NEITI’s financial report led to the recovery of the debt, and $2.6 billion remained outstanding owed to the government by the oil companies as of March 2022.
“By the time we release 2021 report, any company owing Nigeria we have no choice than to invite EFCC to take over and handle it as an economic crime,” he said.
In 2019, NEITI released a report which included a list of 77 oil and gas companies that owed the government up to $6.8 billion.
The national assembly later summoned the companies.
According to Orji, the companies owing federal government decreased to 51 companies and $3.6 billion when it released the 2020 report.
“Which shows that from the point we released that information, a lot of money came in. None of them disputed our report, rather they were giving excuses why they did not pay,” he said.
“The money includes all taxes and VAT being collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and all royalties being collected by the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).
“NEITI collects nothing, all we are asking is for us to be recognised and offered to thank you.”