By Kelvin Alohan
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is set to jointly launch Nigeria’s national Beneficial Ownership (BO) Register by January 2022.
This was announced by the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji and the Registrar General of the CAC, Mr. Garba Abubakar at the on-going Conference of State Parties on United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, according to a statement by Obiageli Onuorah, NEITI’s Head, Communications and Advocacy.
Orji explained that under the joint inter-agency collaboration with the CAC, the NEITI Beneficial Ownership register filled with facts, information and data on who owns what in the oil, gas and mining sectors will merge with CAC Beneficial Ownership Portal that covers all registered companies in Nigeria.
He added that with a national integrated BO Portal, “NEITI and CAC will be in a better position to support government efforts at revenue growth by checking capital flight, tax evasion, terrorism financing illicit financial flows and outright economic sabotage.”
Addressing a special panel on Beneficial Ownership at the Conference in Egypt, Dr Orji identified political will, stakeholders’ consultation, institutional and citizen’s ownership as well as civil society partnership as critical success factors that have led Nigeria’s efforts.
Meanwhile extractive360 learnt that Nigeria has submitted a draft resolution to the United Nations Convention against Corruption on the use of Beneficial Ownership information and data disclosure to identify, track, recover and return assets looted or stolen from developing countries.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Mallami, announced this while addressing the 9th Session of Conference of State Parties in progress in Sharm EL Sheikh, Egypt.
He explained that the draft resolution was submitted jointly with the support and partnership of five other developing countries which include Kenya, Pakistan, Peru, and Saudi Arabia. The Attorney General informed the UN Convention that Nigeria has put in place institutional structures and legislations to protect Nigeria’s resources.
He conveyed Nigeria’s appeal to the Conference to consider the draft resolution on its merit in view of its strategic importance in recovering looted assets from developing countries.
The Nigerian delegation to the Conference led by the Minister is comprised of heads of key anti-corruption agencies which include the NEITI Executive Secretary, Chairmen of EFCC, ICPC and Registrar General of CAC.
The UN Conference is expected to ratify the global anti-corruption strategy for adoption by over 150 countries attending the Conference.
Extractive360 reports that Nigeria, on Wednesday, won the first position at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Awards announced in Seoul, South Korea, at the opening ceremony of the Summit of OGP member countries.
Nigeria beat other countries in Africa and the Middle East that are implementing the OGP, to get the top position following a painstaking independent review of reforms embarked upon by implementing countries.
The review assessed milestones achieved by the Nigerian government in setting up a Beneficial Ownership (BO) registry, amendment of the Companies And Allied Matters Act and the recent Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which made specific provisions for Beneficial Ownership transparency.