Director, Tax and Regulatory Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Kenneth Erikume, has advised the Federal Government to ensure more transparency in the use and administration of oil and gas tax revenues.
Speaking with The Nation on telephone, Erikume urged the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to take the driver?s seat in driving this, adding that the agency is supposed to ensure 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 should have interest in it. If you make it public, people will be more comfortable with it and also have trust in the system.
?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 get information about the royalty collected from the oil and gas industry, petroleum profit tax, and income tax.
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, arguing that one of the things lacking in the system 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.
Erikume said based on the contribution of oil and gas industry to the country, Nigeria should not be struggling with infrastructures such as hospitals, roads, electricity, water and schools.
?So, there are two aspects of paying bills for oil and gas companies. There is concern whether they are paying the right taxes that audit can be carried on periodically,? he added.