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NNPC sets up anti-corruption desk for checkmating transactions across oil sector

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has created an anti-corruption unit within the corporation that would begin to checkmate contracts and transactions processes in oil and gas industry, with an aim to ensure transparency and accountability were been embraced in the sector.

It said that creation of the unit was part of NNPC’s commitment towards combating corruption across the oil and gas sector and that the anti-graft desk would ensure transparency and accountability between regulatory bodies, operators as well as players in the industry.

According to NNPC, the corporation recently partnered Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to jointly worked together championing fight against corruption in oil and gas industry through measures that can curb incidences of corruption across its business portfolios.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, disclosed that the setting up of the anti-corruption desk by the regulatory body was considered necessary for checkmating activities within the sector and that the measure would in return give room for transparency.

Speaking before Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes recently, Kyari stated that the corporation would continuously champion fight against corruption and that creation of a desk to prevent misappropriation further indicated that the regulatory body meant business.

He said that  NNPC recent partnership with Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) was to curb incidences of corruption across its various business portfolios adding that, the anti-corruption processes and structures put in place would ensure transparency and accountability in oil and gas sector.

The NNPC boss hinted that the created anti-graft desk was designed in a way to engage and work directly with Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption agencies, with an expectation that staff from regulatory bodies comply with procedures and directives of the unit.

According to him, a regulatory compliance governance charter and transparency policy have been established by NNPC and the move was a mark of the corporation’s compliance to anti-corruption strategy advice been provided by experts in the industry.

“We have created an anti-corruption desk in NNPC that has engagement with EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies on a regular basis. The desk ensures that in all our operations, every staff complies to the code of conduct procedures with consequence management. We have established regulatory compliant governance charter and transparency policy, this is a mark of our compliance to the anti-corruption strategy,”  Kyari maintained.

Besides, the corporation’s boss explained that part of NNPC had automated its business operations been away to reduce room for discretion to the barest minimum and that the move was part of measures to promote an institutional framework for entrenching a culture of transparency in its operations.

The GMD added several incidences of infractions such as products diversion and crude oil theft were been reported to Nigerian Police and that EFCC as well as, other investigating agencies of Federal Government need to join hands in stemming such level of corruption within the Oil and Gas Industry.

“For the first time in 43 years, NNPC, as a part of the evolving culture of transparency and accountability, published its Audited Financial Statements for 2018 and 2019. We are going to publish that of 2020. The AFS is the only document that tells how a company does its transaction.

We are happy that by the time the 2020 AFS will be published, Nigerians will see the dividends of our accountability. Mr. Chairman, no National Oil Company does what we are doing today,” Kyari said..

He informed that NNPC and security agencies have been able to reduce cases of pipeline vandalism to four percent across the country just as he decried a rise in petroleum products smuggling which he claimed had become a national challenge that must be addressed urgently.

Meanwhile,  the Chairman of Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Suleiman Kwari, commended the corporation and its management team efforts on transparency and successes recorded by the body in stamping out corruption from its system.

Kwari said that NNPC must be recognized for its strides towards profitability and development, adding that, the corporation sustained the success recorded for the good of the country.

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