Uche Usim, Abuja
The federal government has secured a $500,000 (N180 million) grant from the World Bank via the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) managed by the global financial institution.
The grant, routed through the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is to firmly support the implementation of the Beneficial Ownership Register in 2020.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed who made the disclosure in Abuja on Thursday at a roundtable on Beneficial Ownership Register in Nigeria, explained that the grant was in total recognition of the work already done by the CAC and relevant partners in the implementation of the dictates of the beneficial ownership register.
According to her, Nigeria was among countries that has taken sufficient steps towards using the public beneficial ownership registers as a critical policy-making tool in the fight against corruption and deepening transparency. She said: “With the establishment of an open beneficial ownership register, we are moving one step closer towards ensuring that as policy-makers, we have credible and reliable data with which to address corruption,”.
The roundtable was organized by the Media Initiative for Transparency in Extractive Industries (MITEI) in partnership with the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to sensitize and educate Nigerians ahead of the country’s plan to launch its maiden Beneficial Ownership Register in the extractive industries on December 12, 2019.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI Mr. Waziri Adio in his remarks at the event pointed out that the register, which would be launched next week, would be limited to real owners of entities covered in the NEITI audits.
He added that oil and gas industry regulator, the Department of Petroleum Resources and mining regulator, the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) would come up with more comprehensive register.
Adio noted that having the register of beneficial or real owners of assets in the extractives industry was good but not enough to fight corruption, tax evasion and money laundering.