Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has disclosed that it would unveil the beneficial ownership register for the oil and gas industry by December 12.
Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio stated this in Abuja during the visit of the head of the International Secretariat of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI. According to Adio, the beneficial ownership register would contain information on the actual owners of companies in the extractive industries irrespective of the names of those who manage them in trust for their principals.
Adio, who was represented by the Director of Communications and Advocacy, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, noted that NEITI was seeking to exchange views on EITI implementation in
Nigeria and the ongoing reforms in the oil, gas mining sector.
In her remarks, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs. Zainab Ahmed said that NEITI has been working to ensure more data update so that the government can use such data for developmental purposes.
Commending the EITI for its efforts at empowering more sectors, she noted that Nigeria has realized that just following international protocol would not be enough, due to environmental differences. “EITI mandate is more about reporting standards, improving process, systems, identifying loopholes and leakages,” she argued.
“Fighting corruption should be left for the anti-corruption agencies.”
Ahmed also observed that though government agencies are on data-automation they do not interface with each other. This, she explained, accounts for their
different figures and is also the reason President Muhammadu Buhari has asked a committee to reconcile government revenue since 1999, which is now being done on a weekly basis with more realistic data and information from different reporting agencies.
“In order to enhance open disclosure, the government has a template on remittances and disbursement, thereby giving citizens room to ask questions, if need be,” she said.
In his remarks, the Head of International Secretariat of the global EITI, Mr. Mark Robinson, emphasised the need for NEITI to ensure that it adhered to the revised standards of the global body, adding that by 2020 all information about business in the sectors must be disclosed and transparent.
According to Robinson, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, told him that the corporation is looking
Beneficial Ownership Register Ready
By December 12 — Neiti
into that remediation issue, which has been recurrent in the NEITI audit reports. The NNPC, he said, is addressing a lot of the issues that the NEITI reports have indicatedovertheyears. Speaking in the same vein, NEITI’s Director of Technical, Dr. Dieter Bassi noted that NNPC has been very helpful to the watchdog organisation in its operations. He revealed that there are community development agreements that are being signed by the companies and there are always issues about who signs on their behalf.
NEITI’s report, according to him, also covers the revenue from the minerals sector. But, added that there are limitations about accessing the location of the illegal miners. Hence, the reports only cover companies that make regular payments. Since the reports cover industrial minerals miners such as limestone, he said, it is only states that host such companies that benefit from the 13 per cent derivation.