By Edith Ike-Eboh
Abuja – The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says it will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to strengthen effort in fight against corruption in the country.
NEITI disclosed this in a statement signed by Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Director, Communications and Advocacy, in Abuja on Wednesday.
It said agreement on signing of the MoU was part of the outcome of the meeting between the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Waziri Adio and the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu with top management team of the two agencies
It said that the MoU would strengthen the partnership and cooperation between the two agencies in the fight against corruption..
“The MoU will focus more on identified financial crimes disclosed by the NEITI reports in the oil, gas and mining industries.
“It will also specify how NEITI and the EFCC will deal with such crimes expeditiously through information and intelligence sharing as well as human capacity mobilisation, ‘’ it added.
Adio was quoted in the statement as drawing the attention of the EFCC to other emerging issues in the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (EITI) in Nigeria, which would require support of the EFCC to effectively implement in the best interest of the Nigerian economy.
He listed the emerging issues to include, Beneficial Ownership Disclosure, Contract Transparency, Commodity Trading and Oil Theft.
According to him, Beneficial Ownership disclosure seeks to provide information to the public on the real owners of businesses in Nigeria’s oil, gas and mining industries.
This, he said, requires the support of the EFCC towards its implementation.
He called on the EFCC Chairman to work with NEITI as the agency’s legitimate interest in deepening transparency in these areas was as a result of the strong linkages between corruption in the nation’s extractive sector and sabotage of the economy.
He commended the Chairman of the EFCC and his team for their hard work, courage and commitments resulting in the visible achievements so far recorded by the Commission in the discharge of its assignments.
In his remarks, Magu described NEITI and the EFCC as key partners in progress.
He said that the time to strengthen the partnership between the two agencies had become very urgent.
He described the extractive industries as not only the main source of revenues to the economy but also source of corruption and financial crimes.
The Chairman explained that the EFCC had established a special unit to advise the commission on financial crimes arising from the NEITI reports in the oil, gas and mining sectors for immediate action.
On the MoU, he said, it will be quite useful to define clearly the rules of engagement.
He added that this will be followed by the establishment of a joint operations committee to ensure effective implementation of the MoU.
He commended NEITI for what he described as useful and well researched information and data, which the agency had consistently placed in the public domain on process lapses and corruption in the nation’s extractive industry.