The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has stated how the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA, 2020) is helping to enhance transparency in public procurement in Nigeria under the ‘Beneficial Ownership’ of companies in its provisions.
A principal manager of the CAC, Mr. Abubakar Salisu, at a two-day event on open public procurement in Abuja, organised by the Accountability Lab Nigeria stated that dequate provisions were contained in the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020, aimed at identifying the ultimate beneficiaries of shares or interests in Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships.
In his presentation, the CAC representative called for stakeholders’ support for the National Assembly and state parliaments, especially in passing legislations that will compel successors of past governments to continue with people-oriented programmes, policies and projects as a way out of personal interest approaches.
He pointed out that public servants as individuals, “often times use proxy companies as conduit pipes in which they indirectly benefit from proceeds of contracts”, adding that the CAC has launched an online platform through which beneficial ownership of companies can be accessed real time by citizens, especially under section 119 of CAMA 2020 which insisted that payments to a third party (proxies) must be made known, adding that citizens can access such information through [email protected]
Also responding to questions by participants on what the anti corruption agencies were doing in enhancing open public procurement, a director in charge of the Public Enlightenment and Education Department of the Independent Corrupt Practices and related offences Commission (ICPC), Mrs. Ese Okwong, stated that many contractors have been forced to return to site, or volunteer to return funds following intervention of the agency.She said the ICPC in a bid to prevent in-house compromises has introduced a “reward and punishment” system through which integrity is rewarded, and corruption punished when established against its staff members.
Management of Accountability Lab Nigeria, through its country director, Mr. Friday Odeh, in collaboration with UNDP Nigeria, Open Contracting Partnership (OCP), Edo, Ekiti, and Plateau State Bureau of Public Procurement, put in place the media parley on anti-corruption procurement community of practice roundtable with various stakeholders.
The organisation said, “The community of practice engagement is building on the existing progress of the Anti-Corruption Innovation Project to adopt the use of procurement data and innovative technologies, which will improve access to good quality procurement data for analysis and monitoring of risks, support informed decision-making, and civic engagement around enhanced service delivery.”