NEITI says NNPC withhold another $12.9bn
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has revealed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) withheld $12.9billion revenue between 2005 and 2013.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio who disclosed this on Friday during a visit to the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, said the withheld revenue came from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas.
Adio said some infractions have been committed which require the prosecution of the masterminds by anti-graft agencies, the observation to which EFCC Chairman responded to that the agency will bite if NEITI wants it to do so.
A statement by EFCC and signed by its Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren explained that the NEITI Executive Secretary spoke on the stench in the oil sector when he visited the EFCC chairman. He said NEITI might report serious infractions to the EFCC.
According to Adio, “The 2013 Oil and Gas Audit Report revealed that some government agencies like NNPC and its subsidiaries withheld $3.8billion and N358billion. Another revelation is that $12.9 billion was withheld by NNPC from NLNG between 2005 and 2013.”
He expressed the readiness of his agency to collaborate with the EFCC in tackling corruption by reporting serious infractions that violate the country’s constitution.
“We have an Act that criminalises certain behaviours. If people do not cooperate with us, if people do not give us information on time, they are liable to be prosecuted, fined and jailed.
“But, we have existed for 12 to 13 years and nobody has ever been tried under our Act and that is not to say some infractions would not have occurred.”
He said a major challenge confronting NEITI is the lack of power to prosecute, adding that NEITI only carries out audit.
“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,” he said.
Adio stressed that deepening relationship with EFCC would help send signals to all the agencies and companies that relate with NEITI to cooperate with it.
Magu assured the delegation that the commission was prepared to give a quick response in areas of need and to improve on the existing relationship between the two agencies. “Where you want us to use our teeth to bite, we would readily do so,” EFCC boss Magu said.
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