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How Nigeria can finance yearly budgets without borrowing, by EFCC

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Abdulrasheed Bawa

Partners NEITI to check graft in extractive industries

Chariman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, has said Nigeria does not need to borrow to finance its yearly budgets provided leakages in critical sectors of the economy are properly plugged.

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He spoke yesterday at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between his agency and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), led by its Executive Secretary, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, in Abuja.

The nation’s total public debt stock stood at N33.1 trillion at the end of the first quarter in March, even as the government plans to borrow more to fund infrastructure.

“The EFCC so much believe that if we can block the leakages, this country will not need to borrow a single cent from any other country to finance our budget. That is why we are interested in this MoU and keen at ensuring that the extractive industries are sanitised for the betterment of this country,” Bawa stated.

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He promised to use the commission’s Extractive Industry Fraud Section to deal with issues relating to the sub-sector and sanitise it.

Bawa went on: “I want to assure you that all the issues that your report will raise and all the issues that we are also seeing on our own relating to extractive industries, oil, and gas, as well as solid minerals sectors, will be dealt with.

“The MoU is very clear regarding your expectation and our expectation, and I want to assure you in addition to other issues of training and all of that, we will do our best and ensure that the industry is sanitised for the betterment of this country.”

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He pledged to work with NEITI in meeting the expectations of both parties for the good of the nation.

In his remarks, NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Orji, noted that with the pact, his organisation, which has no enforcement powers, would be able to leverage the powers of the EFCC to “bark and bite.”

“We are here because the EFCC and NEITI are in this together to rescue our country from indiscipline, malfeasance and mismanagement of public resources to work together with the EFCC to seek avenues to channel our people’s mind to living legitimate lives and adding content and public value to whatever assignment they have been given for the benefit of our citizens,” he added.

The NEITI boss also promised to work with the anti-graft agency to rescue the extractive industries.

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