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CISLAC urges FG to blacklist erring contractors, businessmen for beneficial ownership

. 2-Yr Jail terms for erring Contractors, Businessmen – CAC

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UGO AMADI

The war against corruption and illicit financial flows received a major boost with the Head of CISLAC and Transparency International in Nigeria, Auwal Ibrahim Musa, calling on the Federal Government to blacklist erring contractors, businessmen for beneficial ownership Contractors and business owners in Nigeria who are found guilty of misinformation or false disclosure of beneficial ownership will be jailed for two years.

According to him there is need for  a “name and shame” approach to the fight against corruption and lack of transparency,   as it is ridiculous to know that   Global Report indicates that  Nigeria lost over  $18 billion annually to beneficial ownership.

“CISLAC demands stiffer penalty on beneficial ownership. Name, Shame Beneficial Owners of Phony Firms in Nigeria,” he told the CAC boss.

“Proper tracking of the beneficial owners of companies will tremendously help the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

 

Speaking at  a two-day event organised by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in Lagos, Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Garba Abubakar, said that misinformation or false disclosure of beneficial ownership has now been criminalised.

 

“Our legal framework confirms that anyone can own shares. If you are owing shares on behalf of someone, you must declare the names of the person. If you hide the beneficial owners it may mean there is a cover up.

 

“This usually shows through false disclosure and or misinformation about beneficial owners and when this is established, our law recommends 2 years in jail term.

 

“At CAC, our register was opened on the 3rd of January, 2021 and the names of beneficial owners of all companies that registered with us since that period have been made public on our website,” Abubakar, said while fielding questions that were directly posed to him by Platforms Africa.

“Our register is available publicly. For existing companies it is mandatory disclosure at the period of filing returns,” he concluded.

 

In a press conference during the event, Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa, demanded that the erring contractors and businessmen should further be blacklisted, noting that this will serve as deterrents to others.

 

“It will tremendously help to stop the bleeding in the Nigeria’s Extractive industry in terms of Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), on which Nigeria loses $18 billion annually,” Musa said.

 

Daily Champion  reports that the event supported by Oxfam, was on “advocacy and sensitisation dialogue on advancing remedial activities in the extractive sector, contract transparency and beneficial ownership as a strategy to curb illicit financial flows in Nigeria.”

 

 

“Modality for false declaration should include black listing of every company, which gives false information about contracts and beneficial ownership,” he said.

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