Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria CSOs Want Illicit Financial Flow Beneficiaries Exposed
Representatives of government agencies, civil societies, the private sector and media from Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria have urged African governments to name beneficiaries of illicit financial flows from the continent to stem the tide.
This is contained in a communiqué of a two-day workshop on “Supporting New Beneficial Ownership Transparency Champions in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria.”
The workshop was convened in Accra by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Transparency International (TI) Secretariat, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Nigeria, and Transparency International (Kenya) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
The participant was joined by ten other international experts who shared their expertise on relevant issues like beneficial ownership registers, extractives, open data, open contracting and procurement, tax and illicit financial flows.
Opened officially by the Vice President of Ghana Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the workshop was held within the framework of a Transparency International project aimed at supporting the realization of commitments made by the governments of Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria at the UK Anti-Corruption Summit in May 2016 on establishing public beneficial ownership registers.
“Participants discussed the extent of the challenges posed to Africa by non-disclosure of beneficial ownership information of companies and heard that; Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and different parts of the world are making efforts towards establishing a legal system that collects and publishes crucial corporate information,” the communique jointly signed by Linda Ofori-Kwafo GII, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani CISLAC/TI Nigeria and Elizabeth Munyefu TI Kenya said.
It was resolved that entities doing business (including financial institutions, Real Estate Developers, and Professional Bodies) commit to increased transparency and business integrity by unveiling their Beneficial Owners.
It urged African countries to strengthen the capacity of their institutions, particularly financial institutions, revenue authorities and other public sector organizations responsible for the different levels of negotiations in the extractive sector and in public procurement to ensure there are definite plans to manage corruption, tax avoidance, tax evasion and other financial abuse risks.
“Having collected the Beneficial Ownership Information, make the information available and easily accessible to citizens of our respective countries in an open data format while ensuring the security and safety of beneficial owners are not compromised,” it said.
It urged the African Union Commission to speedily develop a roadmap for the implementation of the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) from Africa.