Nigeria has been urged to implement and enforce the tenets of the UN Convention Against Corruption by strengthening its anti- graft policies, laws and enforcement mechanisms.
At an extractive business dialogue on corruption with the theme: “Corporate action for transparency in the hydrocarbon industry in Nigeria” organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group in Port Harcourt, the head, Transparency and Anti-Corruption, United Nations, UN, Global Compact, Olajobi Makinwa, said many resource-rich countries like Nigeria were not receiving benefits from their natural resources because of graft.
She said that in 2002 the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, EITI, was formed as a global transparency standard to ensure transparency and accountability in the extractive industry by requiring extractive companies operating within EITI signatory nations to disclose their payments to the government and the signatory to disclose such receipts.
Makinwa, however, noted that owing to corruption and lack of transparency, citizens of many resource-rich countries like Nigeria were not feeling the positive and developmental impact from foreign investments in the extractive industry.
She advised that government should be more committed to reducing corruption risks from procurement and contract processes of large-scale projects that are designed to support sustainable development.
On his part, the chairman of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, Ledum Mitee, said the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, before the National Assembly provides the excellent opportunity for Nigeria to align its extractive industry governance to international best practices and ensure that revenues from its oil, gas and mining sectors support national development.
He said this could only be possible if the government is able to muster the political will to ensure the early passage of a PIB that weighs heavily on the scale of transparency, accountability, competition and corporate governance.