May 23, 2024

NGO asks FG to review NEITI Act 2007

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Ini Billie, Uyo

In commemorating the International Anti-Corruption Day (IACC) 2023, Civil Society Organisation, Policy Alert, has urged the Federal Government to review the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Act 2007.

Policy Alert also called for stronger anti-corruption laws, sub-national anti-corruption strategies and urgent action on outstanding anticorruption legislation, including the proposed whistleblower bill.

Executive Director, Policy Alert, Tijah Bolton-Akpan said though progress has been made, corruption still poses a significant obstacle to development at global and local levels, adding that one in five people worldwide still face bribery for public services.

In a press release made available to our correspondent on Sunday in Uyo, Akpan stated that the lack of improvement in the corruption levels of 124 countries shows the need for collective action to tackle the problem.

“As we commemorate this day, it is important to highlight recent national gains on anti-corruption, including but not limited to important progress on some anticorruption legislation and strides in asset recovery such as recent plans by the French government to repatriate 150 million dollars looted funds linked to former military president Sani Abacha.

“On the former, we call for urgent action on outstanding anticorruption legislation, including the proposed whistleblower bill and the review of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Act 2007.

“On the latter, we urge returner countries, international organisations, and the Nigerian state to continue to ensure that future recoveries and repatriations are done in line with the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) principles and in a manner that does not reinforce the impunity of corrupt while further disempowering the victims of corruption,” he stated.

He mentioned that IACC 2023 allowed Nigeria to reflect on and reinforce its commitment towards collective action to prevent and address corruption at all levels.

He however lamented that some states have obtained interlocutory injunctions preventing anticorruption agencies from investigating public officials, saying these legal blocks have the potential to hamper anticorruption efforts at the sub-national level and called for a reversal of the trend.

He applauded the efforts of governments, the private sector, civil society, development partners, the media, academics, and citizens towards the fight against corruption, saying, “Together, we can win the war against corruption!”.

He mentioned that this year’s IAC Day celebration coincides with the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), with the theme, “UNCAC at 20: Uniting the World Against Corruption.”

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