The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says the true owners of oil, gas and mining assets in Nigeria would soon be identified, documented and made public under the beneficial ownership policy implementation programme.
In a press statement signed by its Head, Communications and Advocacy, Obiageli Onuorah, NEITI said it is collaborating with the Corporate Affairs Commission, as part of Nigeria’s implementation of the global transparency programme, which saddles them with responsibility of ensuring that Nigeria’s commitment to the international community on effective implementation of Beneficial Ownership in the extractive industry is realized.
Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary of NEITI, said it was an institutional responsibility of both agencies to build a consolidated database on beneficial ownership disclosures, noting 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.
According to him, the CAC has 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, thus they need each other to build a consolidated database on beneficial ownership disclosures.
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.
According to him, the CAC is already working on a comprehensive beneficial ownership register that will be of global standard, adding that since January 3, 2021, all companies registering to do business in Nigeria were required to disclose the identity of their real owners.
This requirement is for purposes of beneficial ownership information in the public interest for anyone who needs it and at no cost to other government agencies.