#Buhari approves panel for N2.66tn recovery from Oil Firms

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has approved the recovery of debts owed the federation by government agencies and oil and gas companies in the country’s extractive sector.

On September 29, 2021, The PUNCH reported that the indebtedness of 77 oil and gas companies in Nigeria was N2.66tn, according to data released by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Commenting on the need to recovery the funds, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, Modibbo Tukur, in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by NEITI, stated that Buhari had given approval for the recovery of the money.

He was quoted as saying, “The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning has been directed to constitute a recovery panel which will have as members, NEITI, EFCC, ICPC, Federal Inland Revenue Service and other relevant government agencies to look into the liabilities of operators in the extractive sector.”

He explained that there would be a consolidation of the data coming from NEITI, NFIU and other anticorruption agencies when the recovery panel finally settles down to work.

Turku said, “There will be very clear reconciliation with both the players and those regulating the sector, so no more hiding of national revenues.

“We have all seen the zeal. You are talking about N2.6tn unpaid. We at NFIU have reported over $5bn plus another N700bn not paid.”

The statement further stated that NEITI had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the NFIU to share information and data to check fraud and other financial malfeasance in the oil sector.

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