Begining from January next year, the Federal Government will make public the real owners of oil, gas and mining assets in the country.
The disclosure of these assets, according to the government, would be done through a National Beneficial Ownership (NBO) register
The data to be jointly launched by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), will give bite to the current regime of transparency and accountability going on in the extractive industry.
Through a national integrated beneficial ownership portal, NEITI and CAC will be in a better position to support government’s efforts at revenue growth by checking capital flight, tax evasion, terrorism financing, illicit financial flows and outright economic sabotage.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Ogbonnaya Orji and the Registrar-General of the CAC, Mallam Garba Abubakar said these at the on-going Conference of State Parties on United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Addressing a special panel on beneficial ownership at the conference in Egypt, the NEITI Executive Secretary identified political will, stakeholders’ consultation, institutional and citizens’ ownership as well as civil society partnership as critical success factors that have led Nigeria’s efforts.
A statement by the Deputy Director/Head Communications and Advocacy of the initiative, Obiageli Onuorah, explained that when ready, the register would be merged with the CAC register of companies in the country.
“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,” the statement said.
The statement further revealed that Nigeria had 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.
It explained that the draft resolution was submitted jointly with the support and partnership of five other developing countries , including Kenya, Pakistan, Peru, and Saudi Arabia.
The Attorney-General informed the UN Convention that the government has put in place institutional structures and legislations to protect Nigeria’s resources.