A comprehensive register of Nigeria’s oil, gas and mining companies will be unveiled on 31 December 2019, the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has announced.
According to NEITI executive secretary, Waziri Adio, hidden beneficial ownership can be used to fuel terrorism financing, money laundering and drug financing. He also said that hiding beneficial ownership could only benefit the country’s minority elite.
Transparency and accountability
Adio said the register would help establish transparency and accountability in the extractive sectors, adding that with such information, Nigerians will learn the actual identity of people who have a significant influence, directly or indirectly, on the nation’s extractive sectors.
He said the register was a result of discussions between NEITI, the Open Government Partnership and the Corporate Affairs Commission.
Abuse of office
“We know that hidden ownership can be used as a mask for conflict of interest; it can be used as a mask for abuse of office; it can also be used to facilitate corruption; it can be used to facilitate tax evasion, it can also be used to perpetrate money laundering, drug financing and terrorism financing,” Adio said.
The executive secretary nevertheless expressed concerns about the challenges of adopting a beneficial ownership register in Nigeria.
He said Nigeria lacks legislation on beneficial ownership disclosure, there is a low level of awareness about the issue and there may be a lack of capacity and readiness to comply with disclosure of beneficial ownership requirements.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News