By Etuka Sunday
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) will on Thursday, 12th December 2019 unveil a register that shows the real owners of oil, gas and mining companies in Nigeria.
The unveiling scheduled to hold at the Bon Hotel Elvis, Abuja is in fulfillment of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) standard which requires implementing countries, including Nigeria to maintain a publicly available register of the beneficial owners of the corporate entity(ies) that operate or invest in Nigeria’s extractive sector by 1st January 2020. The register will in addition disclose the identities of the individuals who own part or whole of these companies.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s and Vice President Yemi Osibanjo have also at different fora in 2016 and 2017 respectively reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the development of a public register of beneficial owners of Nigeria’s mineral assets. The development and unveiling of this register thus, is Nigeria’s fulfillment of the national commitment to beneficial ownership disclosure.
The Director, Communications and Advocacy, NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji in a statement said, the register is the outcome of about two years of conscientious collaboration between NEITI, the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Mining Cadastre Office among other government agencies relevant to the process.
Participants at the event include government representatives, development partners, companies operating in the extractive sector in Nigeria, civil society and the media.
NEITI had in 2016 released a policy brief on the need to know who owns what in Nigeria’s extractive sector. In that policy brief, NEITI pointed out the potential dangers of anonymous ownership of Nigeria’s mineral assets to include corruption, money laundering, tax evasion and the use of revenues from such assets for terrorism financing etc. While confirming the global EITI’s position that knowing who the real owners of companies in the extractive sector in resource-rich countries is fundamental to the strengthening of natural resource governance, NEITI added that the register to be unveiled on Thursday would bring about better accountability on the management of extractive resources as well as building trust between the citizens, companies and the government.