NEWS

This section provides readers with the latest news regarding anti-corruption issues worldwide.

Oil minister open to publishing audit on 'missing' oil revenue

Nigeria's oil minister has said she is open to publishing the full findings of an investigation into allegations that billions of dollars of oil revenue have gone missing, after the government's decision to reveal only brief "highlights" of the probe prompted opposition outrage. Diezani Alison-Madueke told the Financial Times that both she and President Goodluck Jonathan would not oppose publication of the forensic audit of Nigeria's national oil accounts by PwC, the professional services firm. However, she said she could not unveil the report herself because the decision on whether to do so lay with the auditor-general. Mr Jonathan received the report earlier this month, but the government has so far published only three pages of "highlights" suggesting that just a fraction of the alleged $20bn shortfall was missing. Ms Alison-Madueke said at the time that she had been "vindicated"by the findings. The scandal of the alleged "missing billions" erupted last year after Lamido Sanusi, then governor of the central bank, provided evidence which he said showed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had failed to remit $20bn to government coffers between January 2012 and July 2013. Mr Sanusi was suspended before the end of his term and is now emir - a traditional ruler - of Kano in Nigeria's Muslim north. The affair has become a focus for government critics as Nigeria prepares for closely fought national elections next month, the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency rages in the north and concerns mount that Africa's biggest oil producer failed to save sufficient revenues before prices began to tumble. Ms Alison-Madueke said there were "pros and cons" to publishing the full findings. Among the latter she cited a "rabid opposition" - a reference to the All Progressives Congress, which polls show is running the incumbent closer than any challenger since military rule ended in 1999 - that might "find all sorts of minute detail [in the full report] to create concern". Bukola Saraki, an APC senator who sat on the senate committee investigating Mr Sanusi's allegations last year, said earlier this month: "Our position is that a full report should be submitted to the public. Everyone should see it to reassure us that there is nothing they are hiding."