NEITI to partner EFCC to fight corruption as NNPC plans to automate its downstream facilities

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 said this in a statement signed by Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Director, Communications and Advocacy, in Abuja. 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.

Meanwhile Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari says the corporation is poised to automate its downstream facilities such as depots, pump stations and measurement systems across the country. Kyari said this in a statement signed by the Acting Spokesman for the Corporation, Mr Samson Makoji in Abuja. Kyari spoke during a tour of the state-of-the-art products loading facility and lubricants manufacturing plant of MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, an indigenous oil company based in Lagos. He added that the move would align with the corporation’s commitment to accountability, transparency and efficiency in the sub-sector. He said the visit was a follow-up to the recently launched Operation White initiative which was aimed at taking stock of every drop of white products in every NNPC’s location nationwide, particularly Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). He said that as a control mechanism, the Operation White had so far produced significant results as the corporation now clearly knows the areas of losses as well as reliability and integrity status of each and every facility under its control. “As you can see, those control measures have produced results. The evacuations from many of the depots have drastically gone down. We shall go further on this and ensure that the evacuation issues are brought to the nearest level possible,” Kyari said

The GMD said that as an enabler company with the responsibility of ensuring energy security for the country, NNPC would sustain its engagement drive of the downstream stakeholders, adding that every stakeholder along the sub sector value chain was very critical. He acknowledged the recent successful operations of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) which he said had helped tremendously in reducing the cross-border leakages and losses suffered by the country. Responding, the Group Chief Executive Officer of MRS Oil Nig. Plc, Alhaji Sayyu Dantata, thanked the GMD for the visit, saying that as the leader of the Industry, NNPC had been very supportive toward the growth of indigenous companies. Dantata also welcomed the move by the NNPC to upgrade and automate its systems and processes so as to bring more efficiency and curtail losses across the downstream value-chain.

According to NEITI 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. 

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