Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Boss Mustapha disclosed this at the Open Government Partnership OGP held Monday in Abuja as part of activities marking the global Open Government Partnership Week.
“Your Excellency, the Vice President, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen: For the first time in Nigeria, secret ownership of companies and properties will be history when a public register of beneficial owners of companies will become open and operational.
Government has also received assurances from the Corporate Affairs Commission CAC that in the immediate future, necessary, dossier of persons with significant control over incorporated companies will be generated and made available on demand. With all these complimentary efforts in place, I am confident that investigation of individuals involved in companies used for acts of corruption will become easier”, Mustapha assured.
He said the federal government has introduced policies and legislations that will help achieve goals set out in its OGP Commitment.
“Already the whistle-blower policy introduced in 2017 has now taken root as part of our system for prevention, detection and minimising corruption. Government has given assurances that all information received will be treated with utmost confidentiality. Therefore, a strong signal has been sent to those that wish to pursue the unwholesome attitude of embezzling public funds, over-invoicing of contracts and other forms of diversion of public resources to desist from such, as they are being watched by all stakeholders.
“In the past few weeks, some statistics have been bandied by many international organisations about the extent of corruption in Nigeria. Many of these figures are useful and serve as a wakeup call for us to strengthen our institutions to confront the monster of corruption.
However, and regrettably, many of the institutions that produced these figures do not understand the contextual contours and the peculiarities of the corruption problem in Nigeria. Often, they are hasty to arrive at conclusions and make generalizations which paint a picture of perception that is far from reality.
As part of the outcome of this week long event, I strongly suggest that we should evolve a reliable indigenous professional and objective mechanism for measuring impact and disseminating information on the state of corruption in Nigeria. Through this mechanism, we will be able to generate reliable figures upon which we can craft our policy interventions. It is trite to say that our story is best told by us and we should never expect foreign eyes to see our corruption problems better than ourselves.
“In the area of citizen participation, our citizens have continued to communicate without hindrance. This is evident in the level of participation on social media platforms. This government takes feedback seriously and it is only when freedom of expression is guaranteed that we can harvest the necessary feedback to enable us get to the real pulse of citizens. Within two weeks from today, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will upload its upgraded website (OSGF.GOV.NG) which has a window for citizens’ participation (Eparticipation.gov.ng). This window will be linked to the websites of all MDAs which allows your enquiries to reach its destination using the OSGF quality control centre as the gateway”, Mustapha added.