EFFC recovers N5bn oil subsidy money
By Chidinma Eze on August 18, 2014
EFCC The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has so far recovered about N5billion (five billion naira) from persons and organisations in connection with the fuel subsidy scam.
Mr. Wilson Uwujaren , Head Media and Publicity in the agency, made this disclosure on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 during a town hall meeting on Fuel Subsidy, organised by Africa Network of Economic and Environment Justice (ANEEJ) in alliance with Justice for All, J4A, at Vines Hotels, Abuja.
According to Uwujaren, the EFCC is currently prosecuting 13 different oil subsidy cases; while investigations are on to bring other indicted persons or companies to book. “Investigation and prosecution of fuel subsidy cases have not been too easy for us but we are resolute in our determination to ensure that we push all those cases to logical conclusion”, he said.
He emphasized on the importance the Commission places on transparency and corruption in the oil sector.
He said the Commission presently has a developed section charged with the responsibility of investigating oil subsidy matters and other extractive industries issues.
He went further to thank the organisers of the programme for their initiative.“As a Commission, we welcome any initiative that draws public attention to the monumental fraud that we have in the oil subsidy regime.’’ He said
Speaking, Mr, David Ugolor, Director (ANEEJ), said the purpose of the town hall meeting was to review how the anti-corruption agencies and the judiciary have fared so far in the investigation and prosecution of indicted persons and companies in the fuel subsidy regime and to also agree on measures needed to be taken to put pressure on Federal Government to do more in bringing indicted persons and or companies to justice.
According to Ugolor, “it is widespread that payments of oil subsidy to oil marketers were inflated and several marketers got paid for doing nothing and expenses charged to subsidy account”.
He stressed that there was need to amend EFCC Act to create “special courts” for prosecution of corruption cases.
Mr. Otsemaye Newton also asked for better cooperation among the anti-corruption agencies and the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in investigating and prosecuting oil subsidy and other economic and financial crime cases.
Another speaker, Mr. Peter Ritchie who spoke on “Fuel Subsidy Fraud Background” criticised the manner public funds were being siphoned and called for prudence in the management of Petroleum Support Fund. He went further by stressing on the need for financial independence of anti-corruption agencies to further reinforce the war against corruption in Nigeria .
He however commended the EFCC for the progresses recorded in the prosecution of oil subsidy and other corruption cases in Nigeria.
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