Nigeria, others must end secret ownership of extractive industry assets – Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that Nigeria and other resource-rich countries must commit to end the era of secret corporate ownership of assets in the extractive industry to curb the huge losses associated with such illegal activities, Premium Times reports.

Osinbajo said at the opening session of the two-day conference on ‘Beneficial Ownership’ conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Monday, that the sad story of Africa’s underdevelopment and other developing economies was masked or hidden under the wall of secret corporate ownership of assets in the extractive industry.

Osinbajo made reference to the 2015 High Level Panel report on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa chaired by former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, which revealed that Africa lost over $1 trillion over a 50-year period and more than $50 billion annually to illicit financial flows.

Citing Nigeria’s experience with the Malabu Oil scandal involving OPL 245, Mr. Osinbajo said the country was still grappling with the negative consequences of the use of secrecy by senior government officials and their cronies between 1993 and 1998 to award themselves juicy contracts in the extractive industry.