Osinbajo To World Leaders - ‘Corporate Secrecy Is Evil’
The existence of some companies without proper identification of the owners is a situation that Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, wants world leaders to address.
He described secrecy in business ownership as evil that affects on countries where such practice is allowed.
Nigeria has had its fair share of tough times as Professor Osinbajo on Monday told a gathering at the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) conference in Indonesia.
He said corporate secrecy has resulted in the loss of huge amount of money in Africa.
“They serve as vehicles for masking conflicts of interest, corruption, tax evasion, money laundering, and even terrorism financing,” he said, citing the Malabu Oil and Gas saga.
“But this is not just a developing world’s problem. We live in a more inter-connected world, and anonymous companies have footprints and tentacles that do not respect the developed/developing divide.
“Even when the degree of exposure may differ, everyone in today’ world is at risk of the dangers posed by anonymous corporate ownership. If nothing else, the Panama Papers clearly illustrated the global scale and spread of this problem.
“So, this is a global challenge and nothing less than a truly global approach will be needed to tackle it,” he said.
In addition, he commended the United Kingdom, Norway, Netherlands and Denmark for leading the way in establishing public registers of the real, human owners of companies in their countries.
He advised other G8 and G20 countries to follow suit by initiating actions to end corporate secrecy at home and their dependencies.
“It is important to underscore the fact that opacity in one section of the globe undermines openness in the other. We need to break down this wall together as we are all at risk of the evil effects of opacity in business ownership,” Professor Osinbajo added.