Buhari Approves Nigeria’s Membership Of Beneficial Ownership Leadership Group

President Muhammadu Buhari has given his consent for Nigeria to become a member of Beneficial ownership Leadership Group, which will bring about the establishment of the public Register of Beneficial Owners of companies in Nigeria.

This is even as the president signed the repeal and re-enactment of Companies and Allied Matters Amendment Act (CAMA) 2020, which supports the publication of Beneficial ownership of companies in Nigeria.

The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, who also doubles as co-chair, State actors of Open Governance Partnership (OGP) stated this Tuesday in Abuja, while delivering his opening remarks, at the 15th Open Governance Partnership National Steering Committee Meeting.

According to Agba, “In continuation of Nigeria’s commitment to implementing a public register of Beneficial Owners of Corporate Entities operating in Nigeria, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari has approved Nigeria’s membership of the Beneficial Ownership Leadership Group with the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Nigerian OGP National Steering Committee continue with the implementation of the mandate to design, develop and establish the public Register of Beneficial Owners of companies in Nigeria.

“The approval follows the continuous support of the President for beneficial ownership in Nigeria that includes 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.”

He said while Nigeria stand the chance of benefitting so much as member of of Beneficial Ownership Leadership Group, it efforts so far has earned it an enviable award.

The Beneficial Ownership Leadership Group membership will 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.

“Nigeria is already enjoying benefits from this 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”, Agba said.

The Minister said due to the efforts of the National Steering Committee, 23 out of the 36 states in Nigeria have keyed into the OGP and this also includes AMAC in the FCT. He said Some of these have finished their first State Action Plans and have commenced the second, while others are still implementing their first.

The outgoing OGP chair, Non-State Actors Dr Tayo Aduloju, expressed his delight at the approval granted by the President. He said this presents an opportunity to stop capital flight from Nigeria.

He said, “This approval allows for Nigeria to join the league of Nations that can collaborate, not just with open registry in Nigeria but with other countries around the world, which makes it easier to track illicit flows, to a more open society where public funds are used to meet public value and national interest objectives”.

He said some of the issues to address in Nap 3 includes corporate governance in public institutions, Open parliamentary principles, Open private sector principles to mention a few.

Prince Clem Agba further urge Nigerian to make adequate use of the newly launched ‘iMark’ app to monitor and report status of ongoing budgeted projects in order to hold erring contractors responsible to contractual agreements.

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