The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) have agreed to cooperate on anti-corruption crusade in the nation’s extractive industries.
A statement issued on the partnership of the two agencies by NEITI’s Head, Communications and Advocacy, Mrs. Obiageli Onuorah, on Wednesday indicated that under the joint cooperation arrangement, the ICPC would set up a special extractive industry desk while NEITI would provide the desk with information and data on extractive industry revenue process abuses, lapses and corruption issues.
According to her, the decision was part of the resolutions at a meeting of the two agencies led by the the Chairman of the ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye and NEITI’s Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji.
The spokesperson quoted the NEITI boss as saying that the joint cooperation is necessary to strengthen NEITI’s capacity to hold accountable covered entities that failed to respond positively and timely to remedial issues contained in NEITI reports.
Orji, who commended the ICPC’s efforts to support NEITI operations with enforcements, noted that it would ensure that adequate sanctions and consequences for financial misconduct in the extractive industries were meted out to erring covered entities.
In his remarks, Owasanoye welcomed NEITI’s initiative to seek collaboration with his commission in areas where NEITI needed help and support.
He assured: “I pledge the support of the Commission under this joint cooperation arrangement. We will offer our support in the areas of investigation and prosecution which we consider, important steps toward checking corruption in the oil, gas and mining sector.”
The anti-graft agency chief commended the NEITI on its transparency drive in the extractive industries, especially in collaborating with the National Assembly and leading civil society advocacy actors for the early passage of the PIB.
The leaders agreed that the joint cooperation arrangement between the two organisations would be formalized and guided by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed by them soon.