The federal government has vowed to publicise the names of beneficial owners of companies as part of its efforts to fight corruption; saying secret ownership of companies in the country would soon be history.
The development was made public by Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) which took place in Abuja on Monday, May 7, Vanguard reports.
He stated: “For the first time in Nigeria, secret ownership of companies and properties will be history when a public register of beneficial owners of companies will become open and operational.
“Government has also received assurances from the Corporate Affairs Commission that in the immediate future, necessary dossier of persons with significant control over incorporated companies will be generated and made available on demand.
“With all these complimentary efforts in place, I am confident that investigation of individuals involved in companies used for acts of corruption will become easier."
The SGF said that policies and legislations had been introduced by the federal government, to help achieve the goals it set out. He said the whistle-blower policy introduced in 2017 has now taken root as part of the nation's system for prevention, detection and minimising corruption.
Mustapha stated that as assured by the government, all information received will be treated with utmost confidentiality.
“Therefore, a strong signal has been sent to those that wish to pursue the unwholesome attitude of embezzling public funds, over-invoicing of contracts and other forms of diversion of public resources to desist from such, as they are being watched by all stakeholders.
“In the past few weeks, some statistics have been bandied by many international organisations about the extent of corruption in Nigeria. Many of these figures are useful and serve as a wakeup call for us to strengthen our institutions to confront the monster of corruption.
“However, and regrettably, many of the institutions that produced these figures do not understand the contextual contours and the peculiarities of the corruption problem in Nigeria. Often, they are hasty to arrive at conclusions and make generalizations which paint a picture of perception that is far from reality.
“As part of the outcome of this week long event, I strongly suggest that we should evolve a reliable indigenous professional and objective mechanism for measuring impact and disseminating information on the state of corruption in Nigeria. Through this mechanism, we will be able to generate reliable figures upon which we can craft our policy interventions.
“It is trite to say that our story is best told by us and we should never expect foreign eyes to see our corruption problems better than ourselves.
“In the area of citizen participation, our citizens have continued to communicate without hindrance. This is evident in the level of participation on social media platforms. This government takes feedback seriously and it is only when freedom of expression is guaranteed that we can harvest the necessary feedback to enable us get to the real pulse of citizens," he said.
This development comes following a previous report by Legit.ng that President Muhammadu Buhari insisted that the fight against corruption had come to stay in Nigeria.
He reiterated the commitment of Nigeria to the continuous fight against corruption and advocated for strong institutions as necessary condition for winning the fight against corruption.
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