The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says its engagement with legislators in the national assembly is gaining traction as it seeks to persuade them to frame laws that curb financial crime, terrorist financing and illicit financial flows involving the country’s oil and gas assets.
The oil and gas sector continues to play a significant role in the Nigerian economy and accounts for 65 per cent of total government revenue.
Beneficial ownership focus
NEITI’s latest focus area is beneficial ownership. “We are moving to the issue of beneficial ownership to track illicit financial flows, to track financing terrorism and then financial malfeasance, which leads to capital flight because our laws need to be strengthened in those areas,” according to executive secretary of NEITI, Ogbonnaya Orji.
Meanwhile a team from the house of representatives, one of the two houses in Nigeria’s national assembly, recently visited the agency’s headquarters in Abuja to consult NEITI on legislation to curb terrorism financing and corruption.
The house of representatives team was led by the deputy chairman of the house committee on petroleum resources, Preye Oseke.
Progress so far
NEITI says it has recovered US$2.4 billion of the US$9.8 billion owed to the federal government in crude oil and refined products theft, signature bonuses and unpaid royalties.
Nigeria joined EITI, which implements the global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources, in 2007.
Launched in September 2002 by then UK prime minister Tony Blair, EITI is supported by a coalition of governments, companies and civil society.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News