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Total Nigeria Fails To Account For N2bn Subsidy Payment – Leadership Newspapers

Three weeks after the contentious zero-subsidy policy of the federal government and its attendant civil disobedience, the House committee investigating the management of subsidy has ordered the management of Total Oil Nigeria to reappear before it to account for about N2 billion subsidy paid it by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).

But even as the investigation continues, five oil companies have been fingered as defrauding the government by evading tax payment to the Federal Inland Revenue Service

The international oil company, which was represented by its managing director, Mr. Francois Bossugo, had, earlier in its presentation before the committee on Wednesday, told the lawmakers that they had never been overpaid or had cause to repay money to the PPPRA for overpayment of its importation of products in 2011 but could not explain why instead of the N16.6 billion it claimed to have been paid, the company documents showed that it received about N18billion for the same consignment.

Speaking before the committee on the role played by Total in the Petroleum Subsidy Fund (PSF), he said his company received N16 billion as subsidy payment from PPPRA in 2011 and debunked claims that it was overpaid to the tune of N304 millon in 2008 as alleged in an audit report by KPMG which the ad-hoc committee cited.

Jackson Ibanga, general manager, operations, of the company, however informed the committee that they had received overpayment in some instances but had always returned such payments to the PPPRA.

Ibanga assured the committee that they would give the panel all necessary information when they sort it out.

‘There Is Fraud In PPPRA’s Selection Procedure’
Meanwhile, the chairman and chief executive officer of Imad Oil and Gas Ltd, Bashir Adamu Gusau, has said disclosed that there is fraud in the PPPRA in their selection of participants in the scheme as well as in their template.

Briefing the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating the management of the subsidy regime yesterday on the involvement of his company, Gusau alleged that incompetent companies were chosen over those that have capacity to do the job.

He revealed that allocations were given to “brief case” companies, while “despite our immense capacity with 50 filling stations we were given allocation of 10,000 metric tonnes instead of 120,000 metric tonnes. It’s a system that needs cleansing,” he stated.

Oil Firms Involved In fuel Importation Don’t Pay Tax – FIRS Boss
In another development, the executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mrs Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, yesterday disclosed that some companies involved in importation of fuel into the country do not pay tax. Omogui-Okauro, who refused to name the companies, said the service has decided to move against such companies in a bid to recover the funds.

Omogui-Okauro said this during the public hearing of the ad-hoc committee on subsidy regime.

The executive chairman said the tax in question was not Value Added Tax on petroleum products but normal tax that companies registered compulsorily under FIRS pay. She said the companies were five in number.

Responding to questions by the committee , Omoigui-Okauru said the federal government, 10 years ago, gave an order to exempt operators in the sector from paying the Value Added Tax (VAT) in a bid not to transfer the heavy burden to the consumers of fuel.

Pleading with the committee for more time to carry out consultations and get all the necessary documentation required by the ad-hoc committee, she said she would make another presentation next week.

Asked why there is no taxation on diesel despite the fact that it has been deregulated, she said, “Tax was not imposed because the federal government wanted the sector to be fully deregulated. It is when the downstream sector is fully deregulated that all the products could be appropriately taxed and there is a bill already sent to NASS on account of this.”

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