Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, has said that the Companies and Allied Matters Amendment Act (CAMA) 2020 would ensure transparency of the ownership and control of all companies involved in property purchase and public contracting in Nigeria.
In a statement on Thursday (August 13, 2020) on his twitter handle @ClemAgba on the signing of the CAMA Amendnent Act 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari on August 7, this year, Prince Agba said the new law expressely required companies in Nigeria to disclose beneficial owners above a certain threshold.
Agba, who is also Co-Chair of Nigeria’s Open Government Partnership (OGP) State Actors, stated that the new law “gives legal backing to the implementation of Nigeria’s commitment to establish a public register of beneficial owners of corporate entities in its Open Government Partnership (OGP) 2019 – 2021 National Action Plan.”
According to him, “While the signing of the law is a milestone, it is only the beginning of a long journey to building a technologically-viable structure of tackling corruption.”
He said that the fight against corruption would require building institutional capacities, processes, as well as collaboration among government, citizens and bilateral partners to ensure that the needs of all stakeholders were captured and met.
“On our part, we will continue to provide policy and legal framework that will help Nigeria meet the commitments contained in our National Action Plan,” the minister stated.
Agba further said that “Nigeria welcomes the support of the OGP Support Unit through the Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the development of an electronic register of beneficial owners.
“I want to renew the commitment of Nigeria’s OGP Multi-Stakeholder Forum – National Steering Committee – to ensure full implementation of the register, using the grant of $500,000 to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for the development of an electronic register of beneficial owners.”
He said he looked forward to “working with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in the building of the register.”
He reviewed the process that culminated in the new law and concluded that the signing of the Companies and Allied Matters Amendment Act (CAMA) into law was a journey that began in May 2016 at the London Anti-Corruption Summit where President Buhari committed to tackling corruption head on.
The President, according to him, had committed to tackling corruption by “taking steps to ensure transparency of the ownership and control of all companies involved in property purchase and public contracting.”