The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, has applauded the pronouncement by the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, last week Thursday that Nigeria would establish a transparent central register of foreign companies bidding on public contracts and buying property.
This was contained in a statement which was signed by Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, NEITI’s director of communications and made available to newsmen in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
President Buhari, who was speaking at the world anti-corruption summit in London, also welcomed the proposal by developed countries to help improve the access of developing countries to beneficial ownership information for use in public contracting.
“NEITI as the Agency responsible for the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Nigeria is quite encouraged by the speech delivered by President Buhari in London committing Nigeria to the implementation of Beneficial Ownership Disclosure,” said the statement
It further said the presidential commitment would undoubtedly “strengthen the on-going reforms in the oil, gas and mining sectors” adding that NEITI viewed the development, which was already canvassed in its policy brief, as a major step in the right direction.
“Apart from its immense benefits to the economy and national security, NEITI has argued that beneficial ownership disclosure has practical implication for increasing government revenues, reducing the incidences of corruption, money laundering and cutting off funding from drug lords and terrorists,” the statement added.
NEITI also applauded a similar pronouncement by the president on Open Contracting Data Standard that allows disclosure of data and documents at all stages of the contracting process adding that the principles of Open Contracting Data Standard were consistent with the position of the global EITI standard on contract transparency, which all member countries including Nigeria are encouraged to embrace.