NNPC, FIRS to set up joint committee on tax audit

…As GMD restates commitment to growth, profitability
Oscarline Onwuemenyi
11 August 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have agreed to set up a joint tax audit committee to review outstanding tax issues of the Corporation, including those that concern its Joint Venture (JV) partners.

The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, who suggested this when he and his management team visited the FIRS Revenue House, in Abuja, noted that longstanding tax issues, especially as it relates to NNPC’s JV activities, have affected the Corporation’s image with the public.

Baru expressed the readiness of the NNPC to continue to collaborate with the FIRS, Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other government agencies to generate revenue for the Federal Government.

The NNPC boss suggested the setting up of a committee between the NNPC and FIRS to update the Corporation’s tax obligation upto 2015 assuring that all its joint venture partners would align themselves in order to ensure that the right taxes are paid.

Chairman of FIRS, Mr. Tunde Fowler commended the Corporation for subjecting itself to tax audit as a good responsible corporate citizen.

Fowler thanked the NNPC for the cooperation it has extended to FIRS on tax matters over the years stressing that the two organizations are children of the same father committed to generating revenue for the Federal Government.

In the meantime, the NNPC GMD has said the Corporation under his watch will continue with the previous initiatives to further grow the business and increase profitability as envisioned by the founders of the Corporation.

The GMD made this assertion earlier during his maiden town hall meeting with members of staff at the NNPC Towers in Abuja.

“The NNPC is today in transition for positive reform. A transition to autonomy, profitability and growth. This transition is not only inevitable but imperative in the light of current business realities and the onus on NNPC to deliver on its statutory mandate,” Baru declared.

According to him, “We have a collective responsibility to ensure the success of this ongoing reform in NNPC. The task of doing so begins with you and me, by changing our attitude; particularly, the way we work and do business.

“We are all required to develop mindsets that emphasize diligence, commitment and sacrifice. Therefore, it is indeed not going to be business as usual,’’ the GMD stressed.

He noted that in line with the NNPC’s mission statement of being an integrated oil and gas company engaged in adding value to the nations hydrocarbon for the benefit of Nigerians, the Corporation under him would focus on a 12 point agenda to support and drive the actualization of the mission.

Dr. Baru disclosed the theme of the agenda as “Moving NNPC Forward…Together” adding that “in the race to change the fortunes of our dear Corporation for the better, I cannot do it all alone. Therefore, we are all in this together.”

The GMD outlined the agenda to include security, new business models, Joint Venture cash calls, production and reserve growth, NPDC growth, gas development, oil and gas infrastructure, refinery upgrade and expansion.

Commenting on behalf of the staff, the NNPC Group Chairman of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), Comrade Mathew Duru expressed the readiness of the Unions to support Dr. Baru and his management team to succeed in their onerous task to reposition the Corporation for growth and profitability.

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