Experts in the extractive and finance sectors have urged the federal government to adopt a holistic national register of beneficial owners of companies in key sectors of the economy.
They made the call on Wednesday in Abuja during an international peer learning workshop on beneficial ownership information organised by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in partnership with the World Bank.
Speaking during a panel session, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, said the availability of a national beneficial ownership register will aid national planning and investment as it will give Nigeria a sense of corporate value, transparency and accountability.
Orji noted that NEITI already has published a register on beneficial ownership but it is only in the oil and gas sector, adding that, “There is a need to have other sectors like solid minerals, agriculture and other key sectors of the economy.”
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Also speaking, global lead, Governance Global Practice for the World Bank, Mr Stephen Davenport, said: “The World Bank has a standard strategy for anti-corruption corporate transparency which is why it partnered the CAC in terms of beneficial ownership and for Nigeria to boost corporate transparency, stakeholders in key sectors of the economy must partner to consolidate on the efforts of the commission.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission, Alhaji Garba Abubakar, said the international peer review became necessary as experts across the world will share experiences and knowledge on the subject matter.
He added that the CAC will make the register available in an open data format for security agencies who may want to carry out any investigation on beneficial owners of any company.
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