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CAC to publish profiles of company owners

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The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has revealed it will now publish profiles of company owners.

This was disclosed by the registrar-general of CAC, Garba Abubakar at the commission’s International Peer Learning Workshop on using the Beneficial Ownership Information Register.

He said the register will be open to the public after the unveiling for everyone to view the records of shareholders of companies online free of charge.

The CAC boss said the initiative aimed to support anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria and the world.

“The essence of getting beneficial ownership information is to support the anti-corruption initiative of the government. Companies are the vehicles being used for corruption, illicit financial flow and terrorism financing,” explained Mr Abubakar.

“When our investigating agencies are doing their investigation, they will be able to track those responsible for some of these illegal activities.”

Mr Abubakar emphasised that innocent people have nothing to worry about the initiative, but that companies are required to disclose the persons that own the companies from the point of incorporation.

“In the past, the law allowed one to incorporate companies using a corporate arrangement that made it impossible to know the ultimate beneficiaries of these companies. The concept of separate legal personality has changed,” added the CAC chief.

“They are now required to disclose the natural persons that own these companies from the point of incorporation and when there is any change.”

This information, he explained, “is for use by investigation agencies, the media, civil society and the whole essence is to ensure transparency and make this information available.”

“If we have information to the contrary as to what is actually disclosed in the register, then we can escalate. The register is supposed to support the anti-corruption initiative of the government, and it is a global requirement,” Mr Abubakar stressed.

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