Later this week (on December 12 to be precise), the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) will launch a register that will detail the full information of owners of oil and gas companies in the country.
NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Waziri Adio, disclosed this recently during a stakeholders’ meeting on the benefit and significance of the Beneficial Ownership Register in Nigeria.
According to Premium Times, Adio acknowledged the public outcry from certain quarters which has greeted this development. He also allayed people’s fears regarding this, emphasising that this is not a case of “we against them”. He, however, clarified that the initiative is aimed at ensuring that Nigeria is accorded the necessary benefits it is entitled to for the extraction of its resources by extractive companies, some of whom have been “cheating” the country over the years.
What you need to know
Note that the Beneficial Ownership Register is in tandem with the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). With 52 countries signatory to it including Nigeria, EITI specifies a global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources.
As Adio claimed, there are a lot of benefits that the NEITI register is expected to actualise. Some of these benefits are highlighted below;
- The register will make it possible for there to be a transparent disclosure of the full identities of investors in Nigeria’s extractive industries.
- The register will also make it easier for the government to checkmate possible tax evasion by the owners of extractive companies in the country.
- According to Adio, the move will also help to curb illicit financial flows and other forms of organised crime such as drug financing and money laundering.
Once again, Adio reiterated that there is no need for anyone to be worried about the launch of this register. It is only aimed at ensuring transparency whilst ensuring that Nigeria is not cheated by players in the extractive industries.
“When people are afraid that the Register is against their interests, it is natural to expect they will resist it. So, NEITI has a responsibility to assure people that they have nothing to fear, except they are engaging in illegalities.”
In the meantime, the NEITI register is lacking a legal backing because there is no piece of legislation in the Nigerian constitution that makes it compulsory for companies to publicly disclose their beneficial owners. But as Adio stated, NEITI is adopting a “gradualist approach” which will enable it to figure out how to navigate any legal issues that may arise along the way.
Just in: NUPENG calls off strike for petroleum tanker drivers in Lagos State
The disclosure was made in a series of tweet posts by the SSA to the Lagos State Governor.
The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), has called off the strike action of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) in Lagos State which started earlier today.
This is contained in the communique which was signed by the Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Olateru Odusote and the Deputy National President of NUPENG, Solomon Kilanko, on Monday, August 10, 2020.
The disclosure was made in a series of tweet posts by the Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on New Media, Jubril Gawat, through his official twitter handle.
Jubril disclosed that the state will set up a standing committee to discuss with the union on an ongoing basis to resolve the various issues as they arise. The state government will also review the timing restriction on movement of petroleum tankers within the next week.
FLASH: The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has called off its strike which commenced earlier today. pic.twitter.com/U7jearXLgx
— Gawat Jubril A. (@Mr_JAGss) August 10, 2020
FMDQ says newly signed CAMA bill will make Nigeria a powerful destination of capital
The new Bill introduces some corporate legal innovations aimed at boosting the ease of doing business.
FMDQ Securities Exchange has revealed that the new Companies and Allied Matters Bill 2020, that was recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, would reposition Nigeria as a powerful destination of capital.
The newly signed Companies and Allied Matters Act. 2020 bill, repeals and replaces the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990.
While making the disclosure in Lagos on Monday, August 10, 2020, the Group Chief Executive Officer of FMDQ, Bola Onadele, said the country’s financial market and the economy as a whole would receive the long-awaited boost to encourage economic development with the new CAMA.
The new Bill introduces some corporate legal innovations aimed at boosting the ease of doing business in the country. Some of such innovation are reduction in filing fee and other reforms to encourage small and medium enterprises, provisions for the establishment of private companies with a single shareholder and limited liability partnerships and limited partnerships, among others.
According to a report from News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), FMDQ’s Onadele pointed out that the implementation of the new CAMA, would lead to a new wave of innovative developments in the Nigerian financial market and as well as improve the ease of doing business in the country.
Onadele said, ‘’With the increasing sophistication of the global financial markets comes the need for domestic markets to develop their architecture and infrastructures to support requisite advancement as well as align with international standards, and the new CAMA 2020 will position Nigeria and its capital market at par with its international counterparts.’’
“Chief of the several impactful provisions in the CAMA 2020, is the inclusion of netting and bankruptcy remoteness provisions which signal the birth of a new financial market in Nigeria.’’
“The CAMA 2020 commendably sets the tone for the actualisation of key innovations in the market, providing enabling legal backing for netting, bankruptcy remoteness and attendant regulatory frameworks for the smooth functioning of financial markets in Nigeria,” he said.
Going further, he said noted that these game-changing provisions would provide the remedy to critical legal deficiencies that were affecting the development of the financial markets.
Onadele disclosed that the netting provisions in the CAMA would address the credit risk challenges, operational and legal bottlenecks of gross settlement for spot and derivatives transactions.
He said the derivatives market would enhance market liquidity, improve price discovery, reduce risk capital charges and transaction costs as well as increase financial markets stability.
Nairametrics had 3 days ago reported that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new Company and Allied Matters Bill 2020, which was recently passed by the National Assembly. The newly signed bill replaces the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990 and introduced several corporate legal innovations geared toward enhancing the ease of doing business in the country.
Nigeria to begin gold production in 2021 with the Segilola Gold Project
The gold produced is expected to become a part of Nigeria’s external reserve.
Nigeria is set to commence gold production in 2021 after the launch of the Segilola Gold Project in Osun state. This was disclosed by the Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, while taking stock of his first year in office as Minister.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Ayodeji Adeyemi, Adegbite said that the project is expected to create about direct 400 direct jobs and 1000 indirect jobs along the gold value chain.
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He added that once the project takes off, Nigeria would become a major gold producing country, a move that would hasten the diversification of the economy and reduce unemployment among the youth populace.
He noted that the government was creating an enabling environment across the gold value chain. According to him, “the international roadshows we have had in the past have borne fruits. Today we have Thor exploration in Osun State through the Segilola Gold project, which is projected to start producing in the first half of next year.”
The minister also noted that the government has licenced two gold refineries to refine gold to the London Bullion Market Association, LBMA, standard.
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About the Ajaokuta Steel Plant, Adegbite explained that the global travel restriction caused by the pandemic had prevented the technical experts from Russia from coming over to the plant to conduct an audit of the steel plant. He assured that this would be done as soon as the flight restriction was over, and there are hopes to revive the plant before the expiration of President Buhari’s tenure.
Why it matters
The take-off of gold production in Nigeria is expected to open up an industry centred around gold production, from equipment leasing and repairs, logistic and transport. Note that gold requires a specialized means of transport, security, insurance, aggregators among others. These, according to Adegbite, would ultimately create tens of thousands of jobs across the gold value chain.
The minister further stated that Nigeria has mined, processed, and refined gold under the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative, PAGMI. The first batch of PAGMI gold was unveiled at a presentation ceremony to President Buhari on July 16, 2020.
The gold produced is expected to become a part of Nigeria’s external reserve after being purchased by the Central Bank.
“PAGMI will result in the creation of thousands of new mining and formalized jobs, leading to poverty alleviation for many households. Under the scheme, artisanal and small scale gold miners will earn more from higher productivity, better recovery rates through mechanization of operations, and better access to reliable geological information,” he said.