The whiff of corruption remains in the extractive industries

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The FT has noted this morning that:

A letter from the Central Bank of Nigeria suggests that the state oil company has failed to account for nearly $50bn in crude oil sold between January 2012 and July 2013 that should by law have been remitted to government coffers. The alleged shortfall amounts to 76 per cent of crude oil sold by the NNPC and is nearly equal to federal budget expenditure for both years. The NNPC has rejected the allegations.

Now, this is an allegation, not a fact, but what it does suggest is that firstly the campaigns for transparency in the extractive industries has emboldened people to speak out - which is an enormous success - and secondly that the need for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative remains as strong as ever.

They have been proud advocates of country-by-country reporting.

I have been pleased to help them along the way. Indeed, I will be working on the issue today, because the UK is to join the EITI (a long overdue move) and it is vital we get this right.