From Uche Usim, Abuja
In a move aimed at promoting transparency and accountability in the extractive industry, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) have established a joint cooperation mechanism on anti-corruption issues.
Under the new deal, the ICPC is to set up a special extractive industry desk while NEITI is to feed the desk with information and data on extractive industry revenue process abuses, lapses and corruption issues.
Obiageli Onuorah, Spokesperson for NEITI said the new deepened collaboration was part of the resolutions reached at a meeting of the two organisations led by the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji and the Chairman of the ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye.
“Orji pointed out that the joint cooperation arrangement between the two agencies became necessary to strengthen NEITI’s capacity to hold accountable, covered entities that fail to address issues or respond positively and timely to remedial issues contained in NEITI reports.
He welcomed the offer by the ICPC to support NEITI operations with enforcements which will ensure that adequate sanctions and consequences for financial misconduct in the extractive industries are meted out to erring covered entities”, Onuorah stated.
On his part, the Chairman of the ICPC Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye welcomed NEITI’s initiative to seek partnership and collaboration in areas where NEITI needs help and support. “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 towards checking corruption in the oil, gas and mining sector”, Prof. Owasanoye stated.
He said he was proud of the job that NEITI is doing especially in collaborating with the National Assembly and leading civil society advocacy actors for the early passage of the PIB.
The joint cooperation arrangement between the two organizations will be guided by a memorandum of understanding.