The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) is to sign a pact with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a bid to enforce accountability in the extractive sector.
The Director of Communications of NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, made the disclosure on in Lagos.
He was speaking at a capacity building training for 25 media practitioners, sponsored by the Natural Resource Governance Institute at the Pan-Atlantic University in Ibeju Lekki.
Orji said that NEITI was currently interfacing with the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies with a view to prosecuting economic offenders in the extractive sector.
“We have gone to borrow teeth from the EFCC so that we can bite companies found wanting in accountability and transparency issues,’’ he asserted.
Orji said that the management of NEITI and the EFCC were fashioning out a memorandum of understanding on the modalities for a smooth working relationship between the two bodies.
The NEITI chief said that to ensure accountability and transparency in the oil and gas sector, there was need to partner the anti-graft bodies to track funds accruing to government.
“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.
“The extractive industry remains the backbone of the Nigerian economy, which necessitates NEITI’s efforts toward ensuring accountability and transparency in the sector.’’
He re-stated that in the 2013 audit report of the extractive sector, the Federal Government’s total revenue flows to the federation account stood at $58.07 billion while its revenue losses stood at $3.8 billion.
Orji said that 41 oil and gas companies and 16 government agencies were involved in the 2013 audit report.