The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), says absence of Corporate and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) is hampering the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
CISLAC Executive Director, Mr Auwal Rafsanjani stated this while addressing a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday.
Rafsanjan said that some bills passed by the National Assembly that could curb corruption were yet to be signed into law.
He said that a case in point was the CAMA Bill which was transmitted by the 8th National Assembly to the presidency but was not signed into law before the expiration of the assembly.
According to him, the bill contains provisions that enhance the ability of anti-corruption agencies to detect and stop corrupt practices.
“It can also identifies persons and companies involved in corruption and limit their ability to hide proceeds of corruption in companies registered in Nigeria and other jurisdictions.
“The process of developing national register of beneficial owners of companies operating within our jurisdiction is now hinged on presidential accent onto the bill.
“We observed that the failure to sign the bill will result in dire consequences for the country like the inability to fulfill Nigeria’s 2016 London Anti-Corruption Summit Country statement to establish register of company owners.
“Nigeria will also lag behind in Financial Action Task Force requirements aimed at promoting policies and standards that insulate global financial systems from acts of money laundering and financing terrorism,” he said.
Rafsanjani urged the presidency to fulfill its commitment to the anti-corruption fight by empowering relevant agencies with necessary legal operational tools to efficiently deliver on their mandates.
He said that this was necessary because there was no way the nation would succeed in the anti-corruption fight without having a beneficial owners register to know who owns what company.
This, he said was because public officers use disguised companies to steal government money so the law was necessary so anti-graft agencies would be legally equipped to do their work.
He said that with the CAMA Act in place, terrorists’ founders could be caught because most of the sponsors use companies to finance insurgency and so many illegal acts.
Rafsanjani called on the presidency to take action towards fostering the passage of the CAMA bill so that dispensation on the process could continue.