NEITI: Why we can’t trace oil block owners

Owners of oil blocks and oil and gas assets are difficult to trace because they manipulated their records in the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said.

The extractive industry watchdog yesterday said the owners falsified their records to hide their true identity.

Its Acting Executive Secretary, Mr. Ogbonnaya Orji, who spoke in Abuja during a meeting with delegates from the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI, led by the incoming Chairman, Mr. Fredrik Reinfeldt and civil society organisations, however noted that the  issue of beneficial ownership as contained in EITI’s standards, requires the identity of the true owners of oil blocks.

He added that records of the companies in the CAC are shrouded in secrecy and do not provide correct information about the true owners.

He  said this has been a  challenge in implementing this specific requirement of EITI, while he appealed to EITI to understand the peculiarities in the Nigerian environment.

Said Orji: “Beneficial ownership requires us to explain or provide information on the owners of certain oil blocks. But Nigeria is one kind of country; that is why I say nobody is going to suspend us; when you think we are going down, we tend to rise up and surpass expectations.

The Nation