18 Feb 2015

Federal Govt orders NNPC to return 1.48 BILLION DOLLARS unremitted funds

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Tuesday said government must expedite action to fight corruption in order to stop leakages and dwindling oil revenue.

The minister spoke at the annual public lecture organised by the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) in Abuja with the theme, “Blocking Leakages Amid Dwindling Oil Income”.

The minister who gave a detailed account of the federal government’s stewardship and anti-corruption efforts, stated that taming the monster of corruption had become mandatory so as to enable government remain on track.
She said: “Corruption has been with us and we must crack it, we need to stop impunity, we have to constantly tackle corruption for us to stop the leakages.”
The minister who went down memory lane to showcase the long history of corruption in the country explained that efforts are on top gear to prevent all avenues where corrupt practices thrive in government circles.

She contended that though corruption was prevalent, there were clear steps being taken to address issues of corruption squarely.
The minister added that putting systemic checks in place remained the best strategic way of tackling corruption, stressing that “that is solving the root causes of corruption.”

“If you don’t fix this system, the next people that will come in will continue with the current system. And we are putting in place a system to stop corruption,” she maintained.
Okonja-Iweala who harped on the recent investigation by PriceWaterHouse Copper (PWC) has shown clearly the existing gaps in tackling corruption in the oil sector.

To that end, the minister told the gathering that the federal government ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC) to return the funds as soon as possible.

Credit: Paul Obi/ThisDay

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