#PanamaPapers: Nigeria agrees to expose beneficial owners of companies

panama-papers-820

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed the commitment of his administration to create a public registry of beneficial owners of companies in Nigeria.

The President’s promise followed a PREMIUM TIMES publication of the names of 106 Nigerians and firms who own companies and assets in offshore tax havens.

The revelation is part of the biggest data leak in history now known as the PanamaPapers.

The leaked database contained the internal data of Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, which was obtained by German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitunge, and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) with PREMIUM TIMES and other media organizations around the world.

The President’s commitment alongside other far-reaching measures to combat corruption and improve transparency was contained in the country’s draft statement during the anti-corruption summit in London on Thursday.

Mr. Buhari said to enhance transparency in assets ownership, his administration would establish a public central register of beneficial owners of companies.

Suggesting that the process of creating the register was already underway, Mr. Buhari said the Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Bill he sent to the national assembly in February defined beneficial ownership in line with the expectations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Established in 1989, the FATF is an inter-governmental body that sets standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

“We are committed to implementing bilateral arrangements that will ensure law enforcement in one partner country has full and effective access to the beneficial ownership information of companies incorporated in the other partner country,” Mr Buhari said.

The president explained that his government had already taken steps to improve transparency in companies involved in the procurement of properties and public contracts.

“We are taking steps to ensure transparency of the ownership and control of all companies involved in property purchase and public contracting. Nigeria is already collating this information through the Extractive Industry Initiative process and would extend it to other sectors,” he wrote.

“Nigeria will establish a transparent central register of foreign companies bidding on public contracts and buying property.”

As a member of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), Mr Buhari said Nigeria was already allowing better disclosure of companies in the extractive sector as required by EITI.

“Nigeria is already reporting progress through the EITI working groups and will continue to work with interested countries to build a common understanding and strengthen the evidence for transparency in this area,” he said.

The President said Nigeria was committed to restricting the ability of people involved in corruption to travel and do business overseas.

He said the restrictions would be imposed when there is a conviction or publicly available information showing their involvement in grand corruption.

Asset recovery

Mr Buhari told the audience that Nigeria was working towards strengthening its asset recovery laws.

Part of the mechanism the government is planning to introduce to buffer the recovery of assets laws include the non-conviction based confiscation and the introduction of unexplained wealth order, Mr. Buhari said.

The President also promised better and more transparent management of returned assets.

He added, “Nigeria has limited powers under the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission Act, 2000 and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, 2004 to recover stolen assets. In order to improve on the current legal procedures and ease asset recovery procedures, Nigeria has drafted the Proceeds of Crime Bill. The Proceeds of Crime Bill will provide for transparent management of returned assets and non-‐conviction based approach to asset recovery.

“We commit to developing internationally endorsed guidelines for the transparent and accountable management of returned stolen assets.

“We will develop common principles governing the payment of compensation to the countries affected, (including payments from foreign bribery cases) to ensure that such payments are made safely, fairly and in a transparent manner,” he said.


DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD:To place a text-based ad here call Willie (08098788999)...


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.


  • work of the CIA

    Not one single individual was ever indicted in the United States of America in the socalled CIA sponsored Panama Paper leak–The Only American who presently carries the Passport of Switzerland and who was named in the said leak Is Tina Turner–an African American——-Why—? The entire one million page report–did not mention Fashola—Tinubu————Amaechi——————Dambazua———-Prof————Yakubu————of INEC————–among other thieves—-What about the Halliburton scandal and the seimen scandals?- What about Obj-ati Ibb—-I beg make we hear better words ojare-

    • sam

      I know you are confused with what about this person and what about another individual.Buari is on the right path at least he is getting some of the looters and money back. He cannot arrest all looters at the same time.

    • jimmy

      You are free to include the names of those you mentioned on the list to sooth your pained nerves. mumu

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      Mossack-Fonseca is just one firm enabling off-shore tax dodgers in tax heavens. There are many more scattered all over the world and this leak is not even up to half hence there are many Nigerians whose names where not on this very list but are engaging in the same act using other firms and banks.

  • ukoette ibekwe

    You can never trust a government nor the operators of such government when the head of that government wants to forcefully and cunningly acquire land land for cattle owners, who by the way do not pay income tax to the FG. Moreover, the head of the government is a big time cattle owner.
    Not only that the same government is purchasing grass to feed privately owned cattle at the expense of the FG.
    Does it mean that the FG and the machineries of government have become a private estate to be used at the pleasure of one man?
    Who said there is nothing like fantastically corrupt about the name Buhari.

  • CIA work

    The US government and Soros funded the Panama Papers to attack Putin – according to WikiLeaks.

    The Panama Papers psy-op will encourage the elite to move their money to the USA.

    Rothschild has a trust company in Reno, Nevada.

    Rothschild has been moving the elite’s money out of offshore havens such as Bermuda, which are subject to the new international disclosure requirements, and into Rothschild-run trusts in Nevada, which are exempt.

    Trident Trust Co., one of the world’s biggest providers of offshore trusts, has moved accounts out of Switzerland, Grand Cayman, and other such places and into Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

    The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States

    Jürgen Mossack (above) runs the Panama firm which helps the elite to avoid tax.

    Jürgen is the son of the late Erhard Mossack who worked for the CIA.

    During World War II, Erhard was an officer in the Nazi SS.

    dailymail

    Erhard may have been recruited for the CIA’s Operation Gladio which carried out acts of terrorism in Europe.

    There is a belief that the CIA is run by an alliance of Nazis, Zionists and the Mob.

    There is a belief that the leak of the Panama Papers is designed to assist Soros, Rockefeller and the American banks against their enemies such as the Swiss banks, British banks, Putin and Assad.

    • Rommel

      And why was Putin not Implicated in the leaks?

  • Omotolaaraujo

    The lack of electricity, the lack of fuel at a decent price, and terrorism needs attention now.

  • Rommel

    People need to go to jail in Nigeria for lengthy periods,I have made the argument that had Bernard Madoff of NASDAQ been a Nigerian,nobody would have considered sending him to jail as was witnessed in the case of Cecilia Ibru,a woman that should ordinarily have been kept in jail for the rest of her natural life but today is allowed to still be the MD of a public company like AERO contractors.Our culture celebrates corrupt people,as a matter of fact,many people we consider role models today have all stolen public funds and are honored by being recipients of national merit awards,this is the tragedy of a certain generation in Nigeria.Our elders had long lost their moral compass in pursuit vanity,a rebirth is required to redeem Nigeria from this self destruct path.