The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would strengthen the partnership and cooperation between the two agencies in the fight against corruption.
The MoU would 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 would deal with such crimes expeditiously through information and intelligence sharing as well as human capacity mobilisation.
These resolutions were part of the highlights of decisions reached at a meeting between the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Waziri Adio and the Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu with top management teams of the two agencies.
Speaking at the meeting, Adio, said implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Nigeria would require the attention and support of the EFCC to implement effectively 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.
He said Beneficial Ownership disclosure seeks to provide information to the public on the real owners of businesses in Nigeria’s oil, gas and mining industries and requires the support of the EFCC towards its implementation. This, he explained, was in view of the strong connection between disclosure of the beneficial owners of companies and financial crimes such as money laundering, tax evasion and terrorism financing.
Adio 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, however, praised the EFCC Chairman and his team for their hard work, courage and a commitment, adding the result is the visible achievements so far recorded by the commission in the discharge of its assignments.
Magu described NEITI and the EFCC as key partners in progress. He said the time to strengthen the partnership between the two agencies had become very urgent.
The EFCC Chairman described the extractive industries as not only the main source of revenues to the economy but also source of corruption and financial crimes.
He explained 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.
He noted that the MoU between the two agencies would be quite useful to define clearly the rules of engagement. He said that this would be followed by the establishment of a joint operations committee to ensure effective implementation of the MoU.
He praised NEITI on what he described as useful and well researched information and data which, according to him, the agency has consistently placed in the public domain on process lapses and corruption in the nation’s extractive industry.