Director, Tax and Regulatory Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Kenneth Erikume, has advised the Federal Government to ensure more transparency over the use and administration of taxes that come out of the oil and gas industry.
Speaking with The Nation on telephone, Erikume, nevertheless, urged the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to take the front seat in driving this, adding that the agency is supposed to ensure that there is more transparency in the industry.
He said: “They need to take the front seat and establish good and clear data and communicate back the data to the public.
“It is our country, it is our resources so everyone has a vested interest in it, and if you make it public people would be more comfortable with it and also have trust in the system that what the government is doing is sustainable.
“I think there would be more trust if NEITI can take the initiative and make some of these things public.”
He called on the government to put in place a website where people could find out the amount of royalty collected from the oil and gas industry, petroleum profit tax, and income tax, from the industry and how they have been applied.
With this, he said one could trace how funds were generated, and utilised, adding that a country like Nigeria should be able to have this in place.
He acknowledged there were many initiatives being embarked upon by the government, adding that the government needed to speed them up and make them more transparent.
According to him, people could make claims when they do not have enough information, adding that one of the things we lacked in Nigeria was sufficient information, particularly in the extractive industry.
“If these information is available I think people would be able to make decisions by themselves in terms of paying the right amount of taxes or not,”
He said based on the contribution of oil and gas industry to the country, Nigeria should not be struggling with infrastructural development such as hospitals, roads, electricity, water and schools, adding that everybody should have a decent life in Nigeria.
Perhaps some of these companies may be contributing the right amount of taxes but overtime government may not have met the obligations using these monies judiciously, he noted.