Full disclosure of oil industry dealings is required by the EFCC.


Full disclosure of oil industry dealings is required by the EFCC.
Abdulrasheed Bawa, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has called for full disclosure of all joint venture agreements in the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and the oil industry at large.

The head of the EFCC spoke on Wednesday in Abuja at the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Summit, which was sponsored by the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption.

According to Bawa, who was represented by EFCC Head of Operations Michael Wetcas, the oil and gas sector is "sensitive and very susceptible to money laundering" because of its complexity.

He praised the House for its discussion on accountability and transparency "in a sector that is undeniably the lifeline of the nation's economy because it accounts for approximately 80% of national revenue."

He claims that the industry is characterized by a number of actors and dealers in the supply chain, opening up opportunities for fraud and misrepresentation.

He said, "This is in spite of the variety of laws, rules, and directives controlling various parts of the industry.

The head of the EFCC applauded the National Assembly for approving the Petroleum Industry Bill, which is now an Act of the Parliament, and he urged the legislators to expand their oversight responsibilities and investigations to include the country's rising crude oil theft.

He declared, "My office is currently preoccupied with the examination of claims of theft of crude oil, in addition to combating corruption, which is rampant in many developing nations that are abundant in oil and gas.

"Transparency promotes accountability and cuts down on waste. Additionally, it improves connections between stakeholders by increasing trust between the community, the government, and businesses, which lowers misunderstandings and regional tensions. The government must, therefore, make sure that measures put in place to increase openness in the oil sector include complete disclosure of NNPC Joint Venture agreements and clearly defined institutional duties for revenue assessment, collection, and reporting.

"To ensure that financial, fiscal, and governance challenges relating to the oil and gas sector are analysed and discussed as much as possible, the relationship between the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation and oversight committees of the National Assembly should also be strengthened."

These actions could also be paired with the scrutiny of audit reports by parliamentary committees, opening up the review process to public comment, and the filing of reports to parliament on the subjects covered by audit reports. It is also impossible to overstate the importance of NEITI's function as the watchdog of the oil and gas industry in providing law enforcement with useful intelligence.

Bawa emphasized that the National Assembly has a responsibility to guarantee careful control of the organizations and participants in the various sectors of the petroleum industry through its appropriate committees.

If we want to get the most out of the nation's hydrocarbon resources, it shouldn't be business as usual, he said.


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