In renewed efforts to ensure accountability and transparency in the extractive industry, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), has concluded arrangements to partner with anti-graft agencies to enforce compliance and sanctions in the sector.
The agency is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) this month, with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), to address financial misconduct and mismanagement of extractive industry revenues.
Executive Secretary of NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, who made this known while hosting the Energy Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ECAN) in Abuja, said despite the reports published by the agency, compliance and enforcement has been a major challenge even in implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the country.
According to him, each of the anti-graft agencies have been encouraged to establish professional extractive industry desks, equipped with staff with requisite training on the industry.
He said: “This is because agencies just don’t think to do so. If there are no sanctions or incentives; sanctions for refusing to implement, incentives for doing well, everybody moves on and that is the bane of our society. That is why we said that we will have to align with those who have very powerful machineries to enforce sanctions.
“We want oil revenues to reflect in the lives of citizens of our country, as well as on the infrastructure of Nigeria. We want Nigerians to be happy because the current insecurity is a function of poverty.”