Business & Economy - News - Oil & Gas - May 10, 2021

NEITI, CAC to constitute joint committee on beneficial ownership disclosures

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) are to constitute a joint coordination committee on beneficial opwnership policy of the global extractive industries transparency initiative.
The committee’s role would be to identify, document  and disclose the real owners of Nigeria’s oil, gas and mining  assets under the country’s implementation of the policy.
The decision to constitute the committee was part of resolutions arrived at during a meeting between the management of the two agencies in Abuja on Friday.
The Executive Secretary of  NEITI,  Ogbonnaya Orji described  the CAC as a dependable ally in Nigeria’s implementation of the global EITI’s beneficial ownership disclosure requirements.
Orji said tmhe CAC has the institutional responsibility of keeping the register of all companies doing business in Nigeria, while NEITI has information and data on oil assets, key players and investors in the extractive industries.
Both agencies, he said, need each other to build a consolidated data base on beneficial ownership disclosures in the country.
“The knowledge reposited in the two agencies makes it important for us to work together to ensure the commitment made by Nigeria to the international community on effective implementation of Beneficial Ownership in the extractive industry is realized”, Orji said
The NEITI Executive Secretary noted that when information on who owns what in Nigeria is documented and made public, it would help to check illicit financial flows, terrorism financing, tax evasion and diversion of government revenues.
He described access to information by the citizens as the “Power to hold government and companies doing business in Nigeria accountable. “The exclusion of information about our natural resources was at a huge cost to the Nigerian economy and affected Nigeria’s optimization of revenues from its natural resource wealth.
“With your cooperation and reputation, we can help our government fight the resource curse, which is the reason the EITI and NEITI exist”, Orji said.
He commended the Registrar General, Garba Abubakar for the ongoing reforms at the CAC and re-affirmed NEITI’s readiness to forge closer ties with the Commission to strengthen institutional reforms. 
The Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission, Garba Abubakar assured of CAC’s irrevocable commitment to partner with NEITI towards meeting the compliance standards set by the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in beneficial ownership reporting.
Abubakar said the CAC was already working on comprehensive beneficial ownership register that would meef global standards.
He disclosed that since January 3 this year, all companies registering to do business in Nigeria were required to disclose the identity of their real owners.
This information, he said, became a requirement by the CAC for purposes of beneficial ownership information in public interest for anyone who needs it and at no cost to other government agencies.
Abubakar listed some of the reforms  introduced by the CAC to include the use of electronic workflows and digitization of its processes including post – registration activities.
“From January 2021, CAC upgraded to an end-to end electronic registration, abolishing the printing of registration certificates”, he explained.  
The two agencies also agreed to expand collaboration as key members of Open Government Partnership on ease of doing business and extractive revenues governance, transparency and accountability.

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