The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has emerged overall best company in oil and gas reforms at the Open Government Partnership global awards, which took place in Seoul, South Korea.
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed who congratulated Nigeria on the award, noted that “establishing a beneficial ownership register had helped Nigeria track, reduce and arrest corrupt practices that are undertaken either by companies or beneficial owners of companies.”
In a statement, the Deputy Director/Head Communications & Advocacy of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Obiageli Onuorah said that a lot of factors were considered before Nigeria was picked for the award.
Onuorah said the summit considered the “government’s overall commitment to reforms in the oil, gas, and mining sectors, as well as, the support given to NEITI to establish a beneficial ownership register of companies in a business in Nigeria’s extractive sector.”
Onuorah added that “the summit considered broader reforms in beneficial ownership disclosure by the CAC through the amendment of the Companies and Allied Matters Act and the recent Petroleum Industry Act.”
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji in his comments, expressed delight that the international community was beginning to acknowledge and assess Nigeria’s efforts at fighting corruption and strengthening its democracy.
He described the award as “impressive and encouraging,” considering the “political will and enormous resources the government had deployed to reposition the extractive industry to benefit all Nigerians.”
Nigeria won the award at the expense of other member countries in Africa and the Middle East that were implementing a Beneficial Ownership registry to end anonymous companies in their countries.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a partnership of 78 countries, 76 local governments, civil society organisations, which altogether represents more than 2 billion people.