Task force to implement oil industry audit report

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has set up a Joint Task Force to implement the 2013 Audit Report recently released by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

The Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, announced this after receiving copies of the reports from the NEITI Executive Secretary, Mr Waziri Adio, in Abuja.

The membership of the Task Force is drawn from NEITI and EFCC.

The Task Force is to study the reports and identify areas where financial crimes have been committed.

Magu explained that it was no longer acceptable for NEITI to publish reports and agencies, companies and individuals that have clearly committed financial crimes as disclosed by the reports are left to go without sanctions.

“I have heard people say that NEITI has no teeth to bite, but today I assure you that by our renewed joint collaboration, the EFCC will provide NEITI with the required teeth to bite,’’ Magu said.

The EFCC chairman urged members of the Task Force to carry out the assignment and make recommendations for immediate action by the commission.

Presenting the report, NEITI boss Waziri Adio said “there are a lot of findings that have come up over time about monies missing, about collusion between operators and government agencies, about possibility of money laundering, about all kinds of economic crimes that we are not in a position to push forward”, Adio said.

According to the NEITI boss, the “2013 Oil and Gas Audit Report” revealed that some government agencies like NNPC and its subsidiaries withheld $3.8bn and N358bn.
He said that $12.9 billion was withheld by NNPC between 2005 and 2013.

According to Adio, it is regrettable that no one has either been tried or convicted for infractions on the NEITI Act.

He called on the EFCC to step in and help NEITI enforce required sanctions.

He said by the NEITI–EITI process, information and data contained in the reports were based on facts voluntarily provided and signed up by the covered entities during the audit process.

Adio added that the recent report on oil, gas and solid minerals for the period 2013 highlighted several issues that require full scale investigations by the EFCC.