Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) says it will inaugurate a Beneficial Ownership Register (BOR)that will support Federal Government’s anti corruption initiative.
Its Registrar-General, Alhaji Garba Abubakar, told newsmen in Abuja on Friday that the move was to conform to best international transparency practices with regards to corporate good governance.
He said the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) had to be reviewed and re- enacted in 2020, to provide a legal framework to support the BOR.
According to him, the law has provided the framework for disclosure of persons with significant control, which is the same as the beneficial owners.
“We decided to adopt UK model of persons with significant control which is broader and wider in scope , as opposed to the narrow concept of beneficial ownership.
“So what is provided in the CAMA, Section 119 is that if you are holding shares up to five per cent either directly or indirectly.
” Or you control veto right of any company, up to five per cent whether directly or indirectly, or if you exact some form of influence or control in the way and manner a company is managed.
“Or you have any trust arrangement or other schemes whether registered or not, that emphasises any form of such control you have to disclose this information to the company within seven days of qualifying as such.
“And the company has to submit this information to the CAC within 30 days and the CAC will publish this information,” Abubakar said.
According to registrar-general, the Register, will avail to the public, these records of share holders of companies via its portal free of charge.
He said: This is one of the few informations that is publicly available to the entire members of the public at no cost.
“And so the whole essence of it is to support the anti corruption initiative of the government. We cannot talk of terrorism-financing, money-laundering, ilicit-financial flows without talking about companies.
“There is a limit to the transactions an individual can carry using his own personal bank account.
Most of the procurement fraud are carried out using companies.
”And this is further confirmed by the National Inherent Risk Assessment that was carried out in 2022, in conjunction with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit,
(EFCC and ICPC).
The CAC boss expressed hope that with full Implementation of the register, investigations would be facilitated as informations would be open to the civil society, media and the general public to interrogate and ask questions.
Abubakar said the BOR, which would be unveiled on Thursday, May 25, would bring together experts from within and outside the country. (NAN)