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FG Recovers U.S.$2 Billion From Oil Companies

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Following the independent audit reports that focused on public disclosure by the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency (NEITI), the federal government has so far recovered about $2 billion debt owed it by oil firms operating in the country, NEITI has said.

This is even as the transparency agency has disclosed that efforts to recover an outstanding sum of $9.6 billion owed the government by the oil firms have been intensified by an inter-agency effort it was leading.

NEITI disclosed this while welcoming the unfolding positive developments around the world on extractive industry transparency and good governance seeking to put an end to unethical business practices in the extractive industry.

According to a statement by NEITI's Director, Communications, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, these colossal sums were revealed by NEITI reports from under-assessment, under-payment of levies, taxes, bonuses, royalties and other sharp practices over what companies claimed they paid and what government declared it received.

Against the background, Orji explained that the recent decision of the United States Court of Appeal to dismiss a law suit instituted by organisations in the oil industry to challenge the Dodd-Frank Act, a U.S law which requires all U.S. and foreign companies to mandatorily disclose publicly all payments made to U.S and foreign governments where they operate, was commendable.

"NEITI finds the courageous decision of the U.S Court of Appeal as a major test of the Dodd-Frank legislation enacted by the U.S Congress in 2010. The decision to dismiss that suit in favour of this major anti-corruption legislation (Dodd-Frank Act) is worthy of emulation by all countries that subscribe to the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) including Nigeria," he said.

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