ANEEJ, British Council seek prosecution of subsidy fraudsters

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Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), in collaboration with the British Council and Justice for All (J4A), is seeking a thorough prosecution of perpetrators of fuel subsidy fraud with a view to ensuring that subsequently, anyone found guilty is made to face the full wrath of the law.

Executive Director of ANEEJ, David Ugolor, and Emmanuel Uche of the British Council, spoke at a one-day inception meeting for ‘Advocacy Against Impunity in the Oil Subsidy Regime in Nigeria’ in Abuja on Wednesday with stakeholders in the sector in attendance.

Ugolor said the disparity of N175.9 billion between the subsidy claims paid from the federation account in the 2009-2011 audit report by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency (NEITI) and the one made by the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) is an eye-opener to the likely frauds being perpetrated in the fuel subsidy management.

“This project is a major effort to end impunity in the management of oil subsidy funds in Nigeria, where contractors, acting in connivance with some ‘unseen persons’ in government, collect huge sums of money from government with an intention to import refined products for Nigerians.

“The purpose is to raise awareness about the general and specific cases of corruption and mal-practice in the oil and gas sector and put pressure on the government to do more to bring perpetrators to justice,” Ugolor stated.

Uche, on his part, advocated a market-based approach to fighting corruption, saying if security agencies could give certain amount on anyone with information on a wanted person, giving a percentage of whatever money to be recovered to anyone who provided information or worked towards its successful recovery could be the needed tonic to recovery stolen funds.

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