NEITI, EFCC to partner on accountability in extractive sector
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) is to sign a pact with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to enforce accountability in the extractive sector.
The Director of Communications of NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, made the disclosure on Tuesday in Lagos.
Speaking at a capacity building training for 25 media practitioners, sponsored by the Natural Resource Governance Institute at the panatlantic University, Orji said that NEITI was interfacing with the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies to prosecute economic offenders in the sector.
“We have gone to borrow teeth from the EFCC so that we can bite companies found wanting in accountability and transparency issues,” he said.
He said that the NEITI and EFCC hoped to fashion a smooth working relationship between them.
“To ensure that anyone found guilty of misappropriating the country’s oil revenue is prosecuted, NEITI is partnering with the EFCC to study the audit reports of companies to identify areas where financial crimes have been committed against the nation,” he said.
“The extractive industry remains the backbone of the Nigerian economy, which necessitates NEITI’s efforts toward ensuring accountability and transparency in the sector.”
He stated that in the 2013 audit report of the extractive sector, the federal government’s total revenue into the federation account stood at $58.07bn while its revenue losses stood at $3.8bn.
Orji said 41 oil and gas companies and 16 government agencies were involved in the 2013 audit report.
Chairman, Sterling Bank Plc. and Outgoing Chairman, of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Business Law (NBA- SBL) Asue Ighodalo; Past Chairman, NBA-SBL, Mr. Gbenga Oyebode; and Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun at the Annual Business Law Conference sponsored by the Bank and held in Abuja recently.