To fight against corruption and restore growth in the oil, gas and mining sectors of the economy, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has restated its commitment to partner with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in a renewed partnership and collaboration to deliver on its mandate.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, said the Chairman of EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, made the commitments when a delegation of the NEITI Management Team paid a courtesy visit to the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja.
Orji explained that the purpose of the visit was to strengthen the existing ties, partnership and cooperation between the two anti-corruption agencies in information and data sharing, investigation and prosecution of financial crimes in the oil, gas and mining industries.
The NEITI Executive Secretary told the EFCC Chief Executive that NEITI’s visit became necessary following the recent change of leadership at the Commission and the importance of sustaining the existing alliances, support and cooperation under the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the EFCC and NEITI signed since 2021.
Orji reminded the new EFCC Chairman, that under the MoU, the EFCC and NEITI would work closely together to enforce full compliance of companies and government agencies to NEITI processes and the implementation of the findings and recommendations of NEITI industry reports.
“We see EFCC as our ally and partner that we cannot afford to play with, our allies are few, with partnership like yours”, Orji stated.
Requesting the Commission to support NEITI‘s plans to expand its operations to the sub-national government with offices in the six geo-political zones within the nearest future.
The Chairman EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, described as highly commendable, NEITI’s courage, depth of knowledge, and professionalism in the discharge of its mandates. The EFCC Chairman remarked “We in EFCC take our partnership with agency like NEITI very seriously. My tenure at EFCC, will strengthen, sustain and solidify our existing bonds in exchange of data, information, skills and expertise from point of investigation, prosecution and conviction”.
The Chairman urged NEITI to expand and deploy its beneficial ownership register for easier access to other anti-corruption agencies, to help public disclosures, deepen measures to check fraud and curb corruption generally.
He also encouraged NEITI to take public awareness seriously to ensure they effectively educate, enlighten and inform the people on the issues affecting the smooth operation of the extractive industry.