True owners of Nigeria’s oil, gas and mining assets will soon be identified, documented and made public under the beneficial ownership policy implementation programme.
This is as the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) embarks on a joint coordination committee with the Corporate Affairs Commission as part of Nigeria’s implementation of the global transparency programme.
The resolution to form the committee was taken at a meeting between the management of the two agencies and is contained in a press statement signed by the Head, Communications and Advocacy, of NEITI, Obiageli Onuorah.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji who said it was the institutional responsibility of both agencies to build a consolidated database on beneficial ownership disclosures, described the CAC as a key ally in the implementation of the global EITI’s requirements.
He said, “The CAC has the institutional responsibility to keep the register of all companies doing business in Nigeria while NEITI sits on information and data on oil assets, key players and investors in the extractive industries. We, therefore, need each other to build a consolidated database on beneficial ownership disclosures”.
Dr. Orji explained that the information held by both agencies saddles them with the responsibility of ensuring that Nigeria’s commitment to the international community on effective implementation of Beneficial Ownership in the extractive industry is realized.
The Executive Secretary explained that illicit financial flows, terrorism financing, tax evasion and diversion of government revenues will be better checked when ownership of oil and gas assets is documented and made public.
“The exclusion of information about our natural resources was at a huge cost to the Nigerian economy and affected Nigeria’s optimization of revenues from its natural resource wealth. With your cooperation and reputation, we can help our government fight the resource curse which is the reason the EITI and NEITI exist”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission, Garba Abubakar has assured of CAC’s commitment to partner NEITI in complying with standards set by the global EITI.
He said, “The CAC is already working on a comprehensive beneficial ownership register that will be of global standard. He disclosed that since the 3rd January 2021, all companies registering to do business in Nigeria were required to disclose the identity of their real owners.
“This information became a requirement by the CAC for purposes of beneficial ownership information in the public interest for anyone who needs it and at no cost to other government agencies”, he explained.
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