The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission's Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has demanded full disclosure of Joint Venture deals in Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and the oil sector.
The EFCC chief spoke at the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Summit in Abuja on Wednesday, which was organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption.
The EFCC demands full disclosure of oil sector transactions
Bawa, who EFCC Head of Operations Michael Wetcas represented, stated that the oil and gas industry is "vulnerable and highly susceptible to money laundering" due to its complexities.
However, he praised the House for its discussion of transparency and accountability "in a sector that is undeniably the lifeline of the nation's economy, accounting for roughly 80% of national revenue."
According to him, the industry is characterized by multiple players and dealers in the supply chain, which opens the door to fraud and distortions. "This is despite the plethora of legislations, regulations, and directives that govern various aspects of the industry," he stated.
The EFCC chief applauded the National Assembly's passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, which is now an Act of Parliament. However, it urged lawmakers to step up their oversight responsibilities and investigate the nation's rising crude oil theft.
He stated, "My office is currently engrossed in the investigation of crude oil theft allegations," in addition to fighting corruption, which is pervasive in many developing oil and gas-rich nations.
Transparency "decreases inefficiencies and increases accountability." Additionally, it improves stakeholder relationships by fostering greater confidence among the public, the government, and businesses while lowering misunderstandings and regional tensions.
"As a result, the government must ensure that measures implemented to improve transparency in the oil sector include full disclosure of NNPC Joint Venture arrangements and clear institutional responsibilities for revenue assessment, collection, and reporting."
The report furthermore states, "The relationship between the oversight committees of the National Assembly and the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation should also be strengthened to ensure that financial, fiscal, and governance issues about the oil and gas sector are analyzed and discussed to the greatest extent possible."
Additionally, these actions could be combined with the parliamentary committees' examination of audit reports, open hearings held throughout the review process, and submitting information to parliament on the subjects covered in audit reports.
Additionally, it is critical to acknowledge NEITI's function as the watchdog of the oil and gas sector in supplying law enforcement with helpful intelligence.
Bawa emphasized that the National Assembly is responsible for ensuring careful oversight of the organizations and participants in the various sectors of the petroleum industry through its relevant committees.
He said that if we want to get the most out of the nation's hydrocarbon resources, it shouldn't be business as usual.