NEITI To Unravel Extractive Companies With Anonymous Owners

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Executive Secretary, Orji Ogbonaya Orji, has said that the agency will fight extractive companies who fail to disclose their ultimate owners and beneficiaries.

He said the appointment of the agency in the implementation board of the newly signed Petroleum Industry Act will play a big role in checkmating irregularities in the extractive, oil and gas sector.

Orji said this at the official launch of ‘Global Opening Extractives in Nigeria,’ held on Tuesday in Abuja.


The newly launched initiative will reveal the ultimate owners of extractive companies in the country, as well as promote ownership transparency in the extractive sector.

Beneficial ownership disclosure or beneficial owners refer to the identity of the natural persons or real owners of companies.

It is estimated that developing countries loses $1trn annually since 2011 as a result of corrupt or illegal deals, many of which involve anonymous companies.

The NEITI boss said, “The President signed the Petroleum Industry Act, the PIA this year. The Act also requires Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission to, as a matter of priority, ensure disclosures of beneficial owners of licences, eases, permits and keep safe in a public available register.

“Therefore, we wish to seize this opportunity to thank Mr President for appointing NEITI into the PIA steering committee. By this move, NEITI is now in a position to work with nine other key relevant government agencies to develop a framework, guidelines, regulations and roadmap for the implementation of the new law.

“And our specific task in this thing is to ensure strict adherence to the global EITI principles, standards and requirements.”

According to him, NEITI has already developed an implementation plan for the beneficial disclosure and other transparency issues.

Orji said, “The PIA committee which NEITI is serving provides a new platform. Let me also use this opportunity to urge governments across the globe to emulate Nigeria in putting in place required legal framework on beneficial ownership disclosures in their respective countries to enable us work together in ending the regime of corporate secrecy globally.

“Opacity in any part of the globe is a threat to openness all over the world and regardless of our location, we are all at risk of the dangers posed by anonymous companies.”

He emphasised that legitimate businesses benefit from a conducive business environment that is not marred by secrecy.

Orji disclosed that to foster transparency, his agency will move from analogue to digital data connection by the end of 2021.

Speaking at the launch the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, represented by Suleiman Kabiru (Director, Human Resource Management of the ministry), said that the ministry is currently implementing the beneficial ownership transparency register.

He said, “For instance, the ministry through its agency played an active role in the creation of a beneficial ownership register by NEITI in line with the 2019 NEITI standard.”

Kabiru disclosed that the implementation of the beneficial ownership registry has yielded results in the ministry by serving as a tool for tax collection and domestic resource utilisation.

Gbenga komolafe, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, revealed that the new establishment which is an offshoot of the PIA has opened a beneficial register.

“We are fully committed to the initiatives of NEITI. To equally announce here, the NUPRC as a matter of fact within our establishment, we have gone ahead to create a beneficial open register and we will ensure compliance by all stakeholders,” said the new NUPRC CEO.


neitiOlamilekan AdegbiteOrji ogbonaya orjiThe Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Executive Secretary
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