July 19, (THEWILL) – The Federal Government has restated its commitment to implement a public register of beneficial owners of corporate entities operating in the country.
Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, made this known on Tuesday at the 15th Steering Committee meeting of the Nigeria Open Government Partnership, held in Abuja.
In his opening speech at the meeting, Agba said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved Nigeria’s membership of the Beneficial Ownership Leadership Group (BOLG).
The BOLG is a group of countries working to drive global policy shift towards free, open and beneficial data.
Its members collectively drive greater beneficial ownership Transparency through public access to Register across a diverse range of countries, thereby, creating a new global norm.
Agba said the approval of the BOLG followed the support of President Muhammdu Buhari for beneficial ownership in the country. He highlighted that the support included the signing of the repeal and re-enactment of Companies and Allied Matters Amendment Act (CAMA) 2020, which made clear provision for collection and publication of Beneficial Ownership information.
The Minister said Nigeria had made significant progress in advancing the Beneficial Ownership reforms in the last few years, arguing that “the progress is significant considering the enormous challenges we have had to overcome to get to this point, with due credit to His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari.”
According to Agba, the BOLG membership would allow the Corporate Affairs Commission to access technical assistance and peer learning opportunities from this Group of countries and partners working on the global adoption and implementation of the Beneficial Ownership Register.
He disclosed that Nigeria was already enjoying benefits from the Group, “including receiving $400,000 in funding support from the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Multi-Donor Trust Fund Managed by the World Bank.
“Nigeria’s effort in the implementation of Beneficial Ownership Transparency won the 2021 OGP Impact Awards for Africa and the Middle East.
“On behalf of the Nigeria OGP National Steering Committee, I welcome this approval and commit to providing all required support for the design, development and deployment of the full register that meets the best global standards”, the Minister said.