The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has estimated that oil companies of Nigeria owe the federal government over $7 billion, The Punch reports.

The organization announced that the restructuring at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was a part of its recommendations to the past government, but this was ignored.

Ogbonnaya Orji, the NEITI director of communications, in a statement said: “One important issue that NEITI will be bringing to the table if given opportunity is how the committee can assist the government to recover over $7bn owed by oil companies.”

The agency explained that the amount was arrived at after the agency computed cases of underpayments, under assessment’s arising from subjective interpretation of MoUs and tax laws.

The statement stresses that the stance by Buhari to restructure the management and administrative organs of the NNPC would inspire hope and confidence.

“The measures are also consistent with the findings and recommendations of NEITI in its various independent audit reports. These reports were ignored in the past. We are therefore delighted that the much-needed political will required to boldly implement the NEITI recommended reforms is now provided, available and accessible under the leadership of President Muhamadu Buhari,” the organization states.

The organization stressed that a new appointment of  the NNPC group managing director, Emmanuel Kachikwu, was already evident in the ongoing dismantling of the unwieldy structure of the corporation that made it impossible in the past for it to respond to increasing public demands for reforms.

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