The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC has been nominated to lead the implementation of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative audit report findings in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry,
The ICPC is expected to investigate infractions identified in the NEITI industry reports, enforce sanctions, prosecute erring covered entities and provide general institutional support towards enthroning transparency and accountability in the industries.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji who spoke to the media on the new role conferred on ICPC said the ICPC will focus on providing incentives for good conduct and stringent sanctions for bad behaviour in the conduct of business in Nigeria’s oil, gas and mining industry.
He said “We see ICPC as a very strong partner in our intervention in the extractive sector. Our role aimed at freeing up resources in the extractive sector to support government’s efforts at providing the much-needed infrastructure for Nigerians, uplift their standard of living and support national development”.
He called on covered entities to take seriously, the findings and recommendations of NEITI reports and ensure they implement recommendations to avoid sanctions.
“All findings and recommendations in NEITI reports will be jointly investigated with the relevant anti-corruption agencies and culpable entities sanctioned and promptly prosecuted”, He warned.
The Chairman of the ICPC, Dr. Bolaji Owasanoye on his part warned offenders that his office has dedicated focal persons to the NEITI mandate, to investigate and follow up on the NEITI audit reports.
He said the ICPC role was timely considering the recent assent to the Petroleum Industry Act saying the intervention of his organisation will hopefully have a positive impact on the PIB legislation, especially including recovery of revenue into government coffers.
”A special desk on NEITI has been created by the ICPC and a focal person appointed. NEITI is expected to feed the desk with information and data on extractive industry revenue process abuses and lapses. Both agencies will jointly investigate infractions where it occurs, while ICPC prosecutes and sanctions erring covered entities”.