By Ralph Chris-Izokpu
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center CISLAC has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently resent the corporate and allied matters act repeal and reenactment bill 2017 to the National Assembly.
The Executive Director of CISLAC Auwal Ibrahim Musa made the call at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday.
Musa who is not happy with the not signing of the bill by Mr. President said that, there is no way we can succeed with the fight against corruption if we do not have beneficial ownership registered to exposed those behind this companies that are using their government gun to siphoned public funds.
He said, “While we are excited about the commitment of the present administration to wage war against corruption. we are. however, concerned over the inability of the administration to efficiently fulfil Its promises on anti-corruptton at global and national forums.
The executive director said, “this inefficiency is largely triggered by the delayed and assent into the enabling legal frameworks and Instruments on anti-corruption by the National Assembly and Presndency”, adding that, a case in point is the failure of Prestdent Muhammadu Buhan to assent to the Companies and Allied Matters Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) bill which was transmitted to his office on the 27th of May. 2019, after it was passed by the 8th National Assembly on the 14th of May, 2019.
The CISLAC boss said, “we observed that failure to sign the Bill will result in dire consequences for Nigeria like, inability to fulfil Nigeria’s 2016 London Anti-Corruption Summit Country Statement to build public central register of company beneficial ownership information
“Lagging in Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements, whose efforts aim at promoting policies and standards that insulate global financial systems from acts of money laundering and the financing of tertorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (Article 24 & 25).
We therefore, urge the Presidency to fulfil its commitments to the anti-corruption fight by empowering relevant agencies with necessary legal operationalization tools to efficiently deliver on their mandates, as the anti-corruption agencies will not be able to deliver on their mandates if they are lacking in some of the legal framework to be able to compliment their legal status to carry out the fight against corruption.
So, “if will believed in the fight against corruption, we must empowered the anti-corruption agencies to do the work that they are to do, by providing them with additional framework and resources.
Musa said that, the only way we can move forward on this is for Mr. President to take urgent action under this dispensation seamly, working relations of the executive and legislature to resent the bill back to the National Assembly, because it has already elapse, as the period allows is 30 days.
According to he, “If the President believed in the fight against corruption and with the National Assembly claimed that they are ready to support the President to ensure that all the legal framework and anti-corruption and others will be given speeding consideration. Urged the President to take the advantage of the relationship to resubmit the bill so that the National Assembly can actually fast track and assent to it. So that we can be able to stop looters.To encourage the anti-corruption agencies to trace and stop looters from continuously siphoning tax payers money and defrauding Nigerians.
This is the reason we are addressing this press conference to that we can all work together to continue to put pressure on both the government and even the legislature to make sure that we have this bill reintroduced in the National assembly and as quickly as possible pass it and assent to it by Mr. President. That is the only way we can stop public office holders from using companies to siphoned tax payers money. As they are not taking the money individually, for they uses this companies to siphoned the money.
So, “We must know the identity of these companies and we must begin to trace all the asset that have been stolen.