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Nigeria to expose true owners of businesses

Joe Abah

Joe Abah

The Federal Government says it is committed to its policy of exposing the rightful owners of businesses, to encourage transparency, accountability and probity in governance.

Dr Joe Abah, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), made this known in an interview on Wednesday in Abuja.

Abah said that the purpose of the policy was to unravel the owners of businesses registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

“There are instances where ownership of companies hide behind several companies; some of them are offshore.

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“Here, you don’t actually know who owns these companies.  So, the plan is to have a beneficial ownership register at the CAC, where details of owners of companies will be made transparent.

“The initiative is work in progress but President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to making the beneficial register at the CAC public.”

Abah further said  that the initiative would also make public servants to be committed on the need for open government and transparency.

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“Some government officials hide quite a number of complex chains of owners of businesses to perpetrate corruption.

“In a lot of contracts awarded by the government, the real owners may even be civil servants or National Assembly members but have used different names for the registration of the companies.”

The director-general advised Nigerians to begin to look inward by making public the real owners of businesses as this would help reduce corruption in the system.

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He said that doing this would make things more transparent because most company owners hid behind several companies to operate.

Abah said that the initiative would also allow for an open register at the CAC where information about owners of companies would be made transparent.

According to him, the UK has used the process to facilitate transparency in the country and urged Nigeria to take a clue from them.

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