THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered N4.380, 295, 866.00 ($14 million) as unpaid royalty from a multinational oil and gas company.

But the name of the oil firm was kept under wraps last night because it has some outstanding obligations to the Federal Government.

Some oil firms are also under probe for evading payment of royalty to the government.

It was learnt that the anti-graft agency may arrest and prosecute tax or royalty evaders.

A top source in EFCC, who spoke in confidence, said: “The commission has recovered over $14 million USD (about N4,380, 295,866.00) for the Federal Government, being crude oil royalty which was supposed to have been paid between 2011 and 2012 by an oil and gas company operating in the upstream sector.

“The money was paid into the Federal Government’s account with JP Morgan Chase on January 29, after EFCC waded into the matter of recovering taxes due to the Federal Government.

“The investigation of tax defaulters in the oil industry is continuing, warning that those who failed to pay up stand the risk of arrest and prosecution for tax fraud.”

The Acting Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, had, at NEITI-Companies’ Forum in Lagos in December, said 42 oil and gas companies paid $293 billion to the Federal Government between 2006 and 2012.

The cash came from the companies as taxes, royalty, dividends etc to government during the period. The breakdown is as follows: $44.7 billion (2006); $43.7 billion (2007); $60.4 billion in (2008); $30 billion( 2009); 2010 ($44.9 billion); $68.4 billion (2011); and $62.9 billion (2012).

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in March 2015 alleged that independent oil and gas companies had been defaulting in royalties and taxes.

In a 146-page report, the Nuhu Ribadu Committee on Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force said oil ministers between 2008-2011 handed out seven discretionary licences, but about $183 million in signature bonuses were missing.

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