FG Links CAC register with NIMC to monitor $15 billion in illicit transactions through beneficial owners

According to Sanjay Pradian, the global CEO of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), Nigeria can stop over $15 billion in illicit money flows if it can implement the Corporate Affairs Commission’s Beneficial Ownership register and end the practice of anonymous ownership of corporations (CAC).

According to Sanjay’s disclosure, the World Bank found that between 1980 and 2010, 70 percent of corruption cases involved anonymous shell companies. He also stated that it is predicted that banning anonymous companies will help stop the $15 billion in illicit funds that flow out of Nigeria each year.

“If the government must combat corruption, it must reveal the true owners of the companies,” he added. “Then, when they are awarded a public procurement contract, you will be able to know who is awarded what contract and if there are any suspicious circumstances, one can easily identify them.”

The OGP CEO said that passing the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) was a significant step taken by the government in the fight against corruption and that the ownership register would further ensure the Act’s implementation yesterday in Abuja at a multi-stakeholder meeting on the Nigeria Beneficial Ownership Register.

He also emphasized the importance of connecting the registry to procurement contracts so that non-state players will be aware of who is responsible for each deal.

He said that Nigeria is one of the 30 nations that have agreed to implement the beneficial ownership transparency index, which is abolishing the use of anonymous corporations. He also stated that member nations will share the Beneficial registry.

According to Alh Garuba Abubakar, the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the commission has been developing the Beneficial Ownership Register since January 2022. The register also enables users to view the beneficial owners of businesses across Nigeria.

The creation of the register, according to him, has demonstrated the government’s commitment to the fight against corruption, transparency, and open government contracts as well as its operation in accordance with the highest standards now attainable in the world.

However, he emphasized that the government wants to integrate the Register with the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) so that CAC does not approve any company registration until they have verified their information from NIMC in order to ensure information verification and system integrity.

The age of cloning names supplied to them, according to Abubakar, is over since they have perfected the technique such that names of people submitted to them can be identified and traced.

Despite the system being in place since January 3, 2021, he said that the commission is upgrading it so that Nigerians can search for any firm by name and view the beneficial owners.

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