Engagements among relevant government and private companies towards the launch of a beneficial ownership register in Nigeria have continued to yield positive results.
To this end, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has set a January 1, 2019 target to develop a publicly accessible electronic register of the beneficial owners of companies in Nigeria.
At a recent stakeholder’s engagement on Implementation of Beneficial Ownership Roadmap in Extractive Industries in Nigeria, the Director of Compliance of CAC, Mr. Garba Abubakar, also disclosed that discussions had commenced with its software providers for the integration of the framework in the existing application.
Key stakeholders represented at the session included the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), among other government entities, civil society groups, privately-owned companies and the media.
Abubakar noted that presently, legal provisions for Beneficial Ownership (BO) information in Nigeria is contained in Section 94 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, noting, however, that the law is inadequate based on current realities.
The Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mr. Waziri Adio, said although there is presently no legislation that mandates the disclosure of Beneficial Owners (BO) of companies in the country, hidden ownership of companies has provided cover for illegalities.