Unremitted N2.65tr: Buhari unleashes EFCC, ICPC, NEITI on 77 oil companies

Posted by News Express | 9 October 2021 | 793 times

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•President Buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari has granted approval to a coalition of anti-graft agencies, which comprise the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the Independence Corrupt Practices and Other Crimes Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to recover N2.65 trillion from unremitted 77 oil companies.

The NEITI Executive Secretary, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji recently revealed that even after the watchdog 2019 audit report made the revelation of the unremitted money, it remained outstanding.

NFIU Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Modibbo Tukur, who spoke on Friday in NEITI, Abuja while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the two government organisations, expressed displeasure over the debt.

He said it was unacceptable that the firms held on to such huge funds while the government sought loans to fund critical projects.

Disclosing the President’s approval, Tukur noted that the Buhari had directed the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, to oversee the process.

The Minister is also expected to set up of a panel of the anti-corruption agencies to recover the unremitted monies.

He said: “And that (NEITI’s hard work) has led to some kind of fruition because I briefed him (President Muhammadu Buhari) this morning and you may not be aware of it.

“This week, Mr President has approved officially all the recoveries to be done in this area. The minister of finance has been directed to set up a recovery panel with the EFCC, NEITI and NFIU in it and even NAPIMS and all the others.

“So, we are heading to maximum transparency. And there will be consolidation of data coming from NEITI, from NFIU and other agencies and there will be very clear reconciliation with the players and those regulating the sector. So, no more hiding of our national revenues. We all know what we are going through. Nobody wants to see the government borrow.”

He noted that although he had done some work in the past with the organisation, this time around, the new NEITI management was raising the standards in the execution of EITI principles, traversing the entire country and getting results.

“So we have the public accounts analysis and reporting. They analyse every single government account from local government to federal in this country. So if the oil company has said that we are paying, we will be the one to tell them whether they have paid and that’s what we’re doing.

“And we have the oil, maritime and petroleum sector analysis we also have the natural environment analysis. So this is also a natural environment issue where people hide and they do illegal mining, they exploit, then they do certain things and they move it out of the country without even the ministry of mining knowing and sometimes they go as far as using this sector to finance terrorism.
We ran into so many cases, in this particular area when we’re were doing our analysis on terrorism.

So, I think today is the day to congratulate you because we are taking off and you will see the results because now we have all seen the zeal.

“Because you are talking about N2.6 trillion, then we reported over $5 billion, not not paid in the area where the players are , which is the Niger Delta area. And then over N700 billion naira not paid, and in some cases companies receiving as agents and not even remitting.

” I think to achieve greater transparency in this area , it is good this time around to work with artificial intelligence, because if you are waiting for somebody to collect money and give you your own share, maybe it’s the day you are standing in front of God that he will pay you.

“Very soon both our teams will move to the ministry of finance, where we are going to sit down, call these companies and talk the real issues. We have walked the walk, so that the results will come in. And from that data you have and the one we have ,the alert will start coming in very soon.”

(The Nation: Excluding headline)

Source: News Express

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