Muhammad Nani, Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, has been called before the House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee to Investigate the Structure & Accountability of the Joint Venture Businesses and Production Sharing Contracts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation from 1990.
This is in line with the committee’s request that the FIRS submit all tax records and other pertinent documents on all joint ventures and partnership agreements (JVs) and PSCs of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (now Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited) dating back to 1990.
At the committee’s ongoing investigation hearing on Tuesday in Abuja, just two officials—Ogunyemilusi Gabriel and Bello Rasheed—appeared, while other oil corporations that the panel had invited did not attend.
The essential tax records required by the committee and submitted, according to the FIRS representatives, however they only covered the years 2015 to 2021.
The documents demanded by the committee include the summary of petroleum profit tax; copies of tax returns filed by all JV ventures from 1990 to 2022; summary of all remittances to federation account of all tax revenues between 1990 to 2022; copies of correspondence between NNPC and FIRS tax remittances; summary of all remittances to federation account of all tax revenues between 1990 to 2022; and certified true copies of the various tax revenues accounts maintained or supervised by FIRS on behalf of the federation.
The remaining documents, according to the FIRS delegation, would be made available as they were archived.
The documents from 1015 to 2021 were easily accessible when the committee requested them because, according to the officials, the Service has a policy of archiving every six years.
A member of the House, Benjamin Kalu, however, decried that the archiving policy was restricting the mandate of the committee.
“It is restricting. I say so because if you look at the request from the letter, which is from 1990, and you are starting at 2015 based on the policy, we are losing about 25 years of inquiry.
“They must present this number of years wherever the documents are. We need those documents for us to conduct a thorough investigation. Let no excuse be given,” he said.
The Chairman of the committee, Abubakar Fulata, demanded that the records be made available by Friday. He also directed Nami to appear before the committee next Tuesday to speak to the documents submitted.
Fulata further directed that the chief executives of the various oil companies invited appear in person or face sanctions. The hearing was adjourned to next Tuesday.