By Thelma Veracruz (South-South Bureau Chief, in Portharcourt)

The Department of Petroleum Resources ( DPR) has expressed renewed interest in collaborating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC), stressing that the existing relationship between the two agencies should be strengthened for more effective results in the fight against corruption practices.

This disclosure was made on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, by the Rivers State Zonal Controller of the DPR, Mr. U.B Nkanga while on a Courtesy Visit to the Port Harcourt Zonal Head of the EFCC, CDS Abdulkarim Chukkol, in his office.

According to him, the synergy between the DPR and EFCC was critical and mutually- beneficial and should be strengthened. “We came here to strengthen the existing relationships. We cover Rivers and Bayelsa. We still have so many things together. .... We will continue to do what we have been doing together. Our relationship is based on the success of Nigeria. I want to assure you that we will continue to work together and collaborate better", he said.

Nkanga specifically harped on the upgrade of DPR's Zonal laboratory, describing it as “unequaled". “The competence of our laboratory is unequaled. We have the capacity to carry out any analysis concerning petroleum products”, he said.

In his response, Chukkol expressed satisfaction with the visit of the top management staff of the DPR in Rivers State, charging them to be more receptive to the operational needs of the EFCC.

“I appreciate the great work DPR is doing. DPR is a critical stakeholder in the oil and gas sector. Strengthening our working relationship will assist us on our job. Most of our jobs are oil-related. Partnership with the DPR is crucial. The state of your laboratory is good news to us. Sometimes, we invite DPR to come and testify. Our desire in EFCC is to see that our cases are disposed of on time. Training is key. Training of our officers to have an understanding of product analysis will assist us further", he said.

Strategic issues of training, witnessing in court, prompt delivery of petroleum products samples, and other technical matters were discussed.

Both Nkanga and Chukkol agreed that more grounds should be covered to strengthen the collaborative relationship between the two agencies. NNL.