El-Rufai expresses concern over NNPCLtd’s non-remittance to Federation Account despite commercialisation

GOVERNOR Nasr El-Rufai of Kaduna State has expressed worry over the inability of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to remit any revenue into the federation account since the beginning of the year, despite its commercialisation. 

El-Rufai, who raised the concern today in Kaduna at the 2022 Tax Dialogue organised by the Kaduna State Revenue Service, lamented that the development has put states in financial distress.

He said the federal and state governments now rely on revenues and taxes generated by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NRS) for survival.

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According to him, the situation has led to the inability of most states to pay salaries and fulfil their social contract to citizens.

The Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Muhammad Nami, emphasised the importance of tax dialogue as a tool for engendering tax compliance and a means of strengthening tax systems.

Supporting Nami’s position, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, stressed the need for inclusivity, fairness and pooling expert ideas to aid tax policy formulation and administration.

    Jamoh said tax authorities must create effective communication and trust strategies, and also ensure that taxpayers receive value for taxes paid, two factors he described as the key drivers of voluntary tax compliance.

    Last month, El-Rufai had said the Federal government had failed in the oil and gas business and should get out of the sector.

    Declaring that nothing has changed with the commercialisation of the NNPC in July 2022, the governor noted that the company was Nigeria’s biggest problem and should be privatised.

    “This year, NNPC has not brought N20,000 to the federation account. We are living on taxes. It is PPTs, royalties, income tax and VAT that are keeping this country going because NNPC claims that subsidy has taken all the oil revenues. I don’t believe it,” he said.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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