Nigeria will launch portal to reveal real owners of oil companies – NEITI
The Nigerian government has said it will soon launch a national database portal on the real owners of companies in the petroleum industry as well as other sectors towards promoting transparency and to curb illegal financing.
The executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, stated this in an interview with Daily Trust at the weekend.
He said the Beneficial Ownership (BO) is a requirement in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global body of which Nigeria is a member, to ensure real owners of oil assets are made public.
“That is why we became the first country in Africa to establish the BO portal which is what we are trying right now to update with every report. It requires us to identify the real owners of companies, the real owners and people that benefit directly from companies, not the documentation that you see.
“And providing this information will require a lot from all sides because it has implications for tax evasion, as illicit financial flows have implications on issues of insecurity. So, when people are aware that the public is aware of them, they tend to be more responsible,” Orji explained.
He said efforts were on with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on the Open Government Partnership “to launch a national database on beneficial ownership; which will contain other companies, while ours will be specific on extractive industry companies.”
The NEITI boss also said the agency launched the Opening Extractives on November 9, 2021 to empower the citizens on how to use data from BO. “It teaches the citizens how to use the data generated from beneficial ownership portal, to ask informed questions or promote public debate, and decide how to improve track transparency and accountability,” he noted.
NEITI has started a process for the EITI validation for Nigeria which is done every three years with a team from EITI headquarters in Oslo arriving in Nigeria to evaluate what Nigeria has done in the last three years.
Orji said: “This validation will take place in January 2023 but a team will be here in November as part of the process. It consists of compliance with the EITI requirements in the reforms going on in the oil and gas sector such as legal, human capital utilisation and financial management.”
Share your thoughts on the story Nigeria will launch portal to reveal real owners of oil companies with Online News in the comments section