The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), has signed a memorandum of understanding with the EFCC to fight against corruption in the extractive industries.
The Chief Executive Officer of NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji and Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa of EFCC renewed and re-affirmed their commitments to the collaboration against graft in the sector.
NEITI and the EFCC by the MoU are to cooperate in the areas of information and data sharing, joint operations, prevention and remediation actions on governance, processes and corruption issues in Nigeria’s extractive sector.
Other areas of cooperation and partnership include regular capacity building and training, participation in fraud risk assessment efforts, investigation, prosecution and management of information and compliance and enforcement of sanctions.
Other specific areas of cooperation are on issues emanating from NEITI audit reports with specific reference to financial misconduct. Both agencies also agreed that the modalities for the collaboration and partnership “Must be based on the implementation of the EITI principles and the NEITI processes and within the operational mandate of the EFCC”.
“As an agency, we are very proud of the courage and excellence that this institution has exhibited in the face of challenges, NEITI’s relationship with the EFCC has been strengthened and anchored on a procedure that has been formalized”, Dr. Orji said.
The EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, assured NEITI of its commitment and support towards achieving the goals of the MoU. “We have given you our teeth for us to bite together. Here at the EFCC, we have the Extractives Industry Fraud Section established to deal with issues in the extractive industry. We have strengthened efforts at the Airports to ensure that there is sanity in the way our minerals are accounted for”, Mr. Bawa stated.
According to Mr Bawa, “We know what our two agencies stand for. There are areas that NEITI cannot reach that we can reach. This MoU therefore is about prevention, enforcement and coordination to rid our country of economic and financial crimes in all its ramifications and especially in the extractive industry.
The EFCC Boss noted that the MoU is clear on what is expected of his agency and assured of his commitment to implementing it to the letter. “We at the EFCC believe so much that if we can block the leakages in revenue especially in the extractive sector, Nigeria will not need to borrow a kobo from anywhere to fund its budget”, he emphasized.