The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday, February 17th , 2012, expressed its desire to partner with Civil Societies Organizations, CSOs in the on-going petroleum subsidy probe and in the larger context of combating economic and financial crimes in Nigeria . Executive Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde stated this when a coalition of CSOs led by African Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, paid him a courtesy visit.
Lamorde said the Commission is desirous of getting information from other CSOs that would enable it achieve the mandate of looking at the subsidy regime and its management in the past. According to him, the Commission is waiting for the report of the House of Representatives and the Senate. “I am aware that the House has concluded its proceedings but we also know that the Senate probe is still on-going. We are waiting for these two reports and we would merge their reports with the KPMG report”.
The EFCC Chairman said the Commission has been able to get a lot of materials from independent sources that are involved at different levels of the administration of the subsidy regime. These, he said, included shipping agencies, Tank farm operators, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Customs and the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA among others.
“We are just waiting for the two chambers to conclude their investigations before we can move to the next level of our investigation, but as it were, we have gone very far. We would welcome you at any stage to support us with any information you have which will enrich the job we are doing. We have accepted the offer of collaboration which you initiated; we would work out the terms of collaboration. We would also welcome any CSO which you know in this area, we would also appeal to you to introduce us to any other CSO you think is credible, but like you said, we partner with CSOs, we don’t sponsor CSOs”, Lamorde said.
In his response , Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor, says his organization is one of the leading Civil Society Organizations working on revenue transparency in the extractive sector in Nigeria . He said the group came to identify with the leadership of the EFCC and to follow up what EFCC is doing and to support Lamorde to succeed. “Prophetically, I have told Lamorde that we would need to work together; the same Nigerians that would want people to succeed in office will not give the necessary support needed to succeed in office. That is why we are here to partner with you”, he said .
He commended Lamorde for the work he has been doing and said Nigerians are comfortable with his leadership of the EFCC. He, however, warned that he should be wary of executive interference.
Ugolor disclosed that ANEEJ was working on several issues around the reforms in the oil and gas sector. “We are also presently one of the leading Civil Society Organizations working on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and have participated in several EFCC- organized activities both nationally and in the south- south”, he said.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
17th February, 2012