The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has unveiled a beneficial ownership register, which holds the details of real owners of oil blocks and solid minerals acreages in Nigeria.
NEITI said Thursday that the register had become a requirement in Nigeria’s compliance to the principles of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), adding that it also gives Nigerians an opportunity to know individuals who hold mining blocks and rights in the country.
However, details of the content of the register were not made available at the launch in Abuja as NEITI said it would upload it on its website later.
Waziri Adio, NEITI executive secretary, stated at the ceremony that the register contained 270 licences in the mining sector as well as the owners of 61 assets and 56 companies in the oil and gas sector.
Adio explained that an all-inclusive beneficial ownership register would subsequently be unveiled by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mining Cadastral Office (MCO), and Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
“In a short while, the beneficial ownership register for the extractive sector in Nigeria will go live. At the touch of a button, anyone with internet access can find out, for free, the owners and the ownership structure of extractive assets that are in production in Nigeria.
“These are the assets covered within the scope of the NEITI audits. In this free electronic register, you will find the owners of 270 licences in the mining sector, and the owners of 61 assets and 56 companies in the oil and gas sector.
“The register will continuously be updated as more information becomes available and will periodically be upgraded to allow for better user-interface. The BO (beneficial ownership) registers by DPR and MCO are in progress, and they will be more comprehensive because they will contain ownership information of all extractive assets (whether producing or not).
“Also, in progress is the CAC BO register, which will have ownership information of all the companies operating in Nigeria. The NEITI BO register is a precursor to these larger registers that are still being built. The NEITI Register will feed and fold into these larger registers when they are ready,” Adio stated