The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has set up a Joint Task to implement the 2013 Audit Report recently released by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the NEITI’s director of communication, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji.
The statement said the chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, announced this on Friday after receiving copies of the reports from the NEITI Executive Secretary, Waziri Adio, in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the membership of the Task Force is drawn from NEITI and the EFCC.
The Task Force is to study the reports and identify areas where financial crimes have been committed against the nation.
Mr. Adio had told senators on Wednesday that over $9 billion oil revenue was either stolen or not remitted to the government in 2013.
The statement quoted Mr. Magu as explaining that it is 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,’’ Mr. Magu said in the statement.
The EFCC chairman urged members of the Task Force to carry out the assignment with utmost diligence by developing an action plan and make recommendations for immediate action by the commission.
Presenting the report earlier, Mr. Adio said NEITI had been churning out series of reports since 2004.
According to Mr. 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.
Mr. 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.
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