Wednesday, 10 February 2016

NEITI DISCOVERS SECRECY IN OWNERSHIP OF OIL BLOCKS IN NIGERIA

The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has stated that owners of oil blocks and oil and gas assets are difficult to trace owing to the fact that they manipulated their records in the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

The extractive industry watchdog yesterday said the owners falsified their records to hide their true identity. Its Acting Executive Secretary, Mr. Ogbonnaya Orji, who spoke in Abuja during a meeting with delegates from the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, (EITI) led by the incoming Chairman, Mr. Fredrik Reinfeldt, and civil society organisations, however noted that the issue of beneficial ownership as contained in EITI’s standards, requires the identity of the true owners of oil blocks.
               
He added that records of the companies in the CAC are shrouded in secrecy and do not provide correct information about the true owners. According to him, this has been a challenge in implementing this specific requirement of EITI. He appealed to EITI to understand the peculiarities in the Nigerian environment.

Mr. Orji said: “Beneficial ownership requires us to explain or provide information on the owners of certain oil blocks, but Nigeria is one kind of country. That is why I say that nobody is going to suspend us. When you think we are going down, we tend to rise up and surpass expectations.”  (The Nation)