As published on sunnewsonline.com, Thursday 16 December, 2021.
No more secret operations for players in the oil and gas industry as the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) are to launch a National Beneficial Ownership Register by January next year to chronicle their assets.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, and the Registrar General of the CAC, Mallam Garba Abubakar, announced this at the ongoing Conference of State Parties on United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
The NEITI Executive Secretary 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.
Orji stated that with a national integrated Beneficial Ownership 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, the NEITI Executive Secretary 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, 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 – 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.
The Minister conveyed Nigeria’s appeal to the Conference of State Parties of the UN Convention Against Corruption 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 composed of heads of key anti-corruption agencies – 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.