Portal to track real oil owners, other coys coming soon – NEITI
Jhe federal government will soon launch a national portal of databases of beneficial owners of companies in the oil industry as well as other sectors to promote transparency and combat illegal financing.
The executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, said so in an interview with the Daily Trust over the weekend.
He said beneficial ownership (BO) is a requirement of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global body of which Nigeria is a member, to ensure that the true owners of oil assets are made public.
“That is why we became the first country in Africa to establish the BO Portal, which we are currently trying to update with every report. directly benefit the companies, not the documentation you see.
“And providing that information will be very demanding on both sides because it has implications for tax avoidance, because illicit financial flows have implications for issues of insecurity. So when people know that the public knows them , they tend to be more responsible,” Orji explained.
He said efforts were underway with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on the Open Government Partnership “to launch a national beneficial ownership database; which will contain other companies, while ours will be specific to companies in the extractive industry.
The NEITI boss also said the agency launched Opening Extractives on November 9, 2021 to empower citizens to use BO data. “It teaches citizens how to use the data generated by the beneficial ownership portal, ask informed questions or promote public debate, and decide how to improve transparency and monitoring accountability,” he noted.
NEITI has launched an EITI Validation process for Nigeria which is done every three years with a team from EITI headquarters in Oslo arriving in Nigeria to assess what Nigeria has been doing over the past three years.
Orji said: “This validation will take place in January 2023 but a team will be there in November as part of the process. It involves complying with EITI requirements in ongoing reforms in the oil and gas sector, such as legislation, use of human capital and financial management.