The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has called on anti-corruption agencies to assist in recovering the outstanding oil companies’ debts to the Federation Account, which exceeds $6.4billion as the affected firms have failed to clear their debts..
NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Ogbonnaya Orji, who disclosed this at an anti-corruption event in Abuja yesterday, threatened oil firms operating in the country that it would not hesitate to activate its agreements with Anti-Corruption Agencies to facilitate debts recovery.
The NEITI boss, however, noted that some oil companies had failed to remit outstanding taxes, royalties and levies to the Federation Account amounting to about $6.4bn.
Orji, who was represented by the Director of Technical, NEITI, Dieter Bassi, stated that a large portion of the amount had been paid by defaulting companies.
The NEITI boss warned other oil firms that had failed to remit the outstanding fund that the agency would instigate action against them if they refuse to comply.
“All the companies who still doubt our resolve to sustain this drive, we will not hesitate to activate our standing agreements with relevant anti-corruption agencies to recover the funds,” Orji stated.
He said those entrusted with public funds must convert the funds to their personal use, stressing that there must be transparency in the use of such resources.
“We need fiscal transparency to ensure that public funds are used for the purpose for which they are meant. We need ownership transparency to ensure that those entrusted with public resources do not themselves become the principal beneficiaries of these resources.”
“We also need ownership transparency to ensure that when public resources are stolen, we are able to track and recover them,” Orji said.