Home / News / Africa / London Anti-corruption Summit: FG set to implement new rules against graft in Nigeria; as British PM Cameron unveils plans to stop flow of ‘dirty money’ into UK

London Anti-corruption Summit: FG set to implement new rules against graft in Nigeria; as British PM Cameron unveils plans to stop flow of ‘dirty money’ into UK

President Buhari at a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron on the sidelines of the Anti Corruption Summit in London, United Kingdom on 12th May, 2016.
President Buhari at a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron on the sidelines of the Anti Corruption Summit in London, United Kingdom on 12th May, 2016.
President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday, at the Commonwealth Anti-Corruption Summit in London, disclosed by his government to commence the full implementation of the principles of the Open Contracting Data Standards (OCDS).
The President said this was geared towards furthering Nigeria’s ongoing campaign against corruption.
The OCDS enables disclosure of data and documents at all stages of the contracting process by defining a common data model.
The publication of OCDS data ensures greater transparency in public contracting, and can support accessible and in-depth analysis of the efficiency, effectiveness, fairness, and integrity of public contracting systems.
At the one-day Anti-Corruption Summit hosted by the British Prime Minister David Cameron at the Lancaster House, in London, Buhari said that the Federal Government would apply the OCDS to major projects in the oil, transportation, power, health, education and other sectors.
At the event, Cameron announced plans to stop the flow of dirty money through the London property market.
The foreign firms that own more than 100,000 titles in Britain, many of them anonymous offshore companies, will have to reveal their true owners, as will any foreign firms buying new property or bidding for government contracts.
“Nigeria is already collating this information through the Extractive Industry Initiative process and will extend it to other sectors. Nigeria will establish a transparent central register of foreign companies bidding on public contracts and buying property. We welcome the proposal by developed countries to work together to improve the access of developing countries to beneficial ownership information for use in public contracting,” said Buhari in a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.,
Buhari also said his administration was taking steps to ensure greater transparency of the ownership and control of all companies involved in property purchase and public contracting, just as he welcomed a proposal to restrict the ability of those involved in corruption to travel, invest and do business overseas.
“We commit to joining the pilot initiative for automatic exchange of beneficial information. Nigeria commits to deploying public-private information sharing partnerships to bring together governments, law enforcement, regulators and the financial sector to detect, prevent and disrupt money laundering linked to corruption.
“We are committed to working together to enhance company disclosure on the payments to governments for the sale of oil, gas and minerals, complementing ongoing work within the EITI.
“Nigeria is already reporting progress through the EITI working groups and will continue to work with interested countries to build a common understanding and strengthen the evidence for transparency in this area.
“We welcome voluntary disclosures through EITI reporting and by some major companies regarding payments to governments for the sale of oil, gas and minerals.
“We welcome the new 2016 EITI Standard, in particular the requirements on beneficial ownership and the sale of the government’s share of production. We will sign up to the Common Reporting Standard initiative.
“We are committed to reviewing penalties and other actions against professional enablers of tax evasion, including for corporations that fail to prevent their employees from facilitating tax evasion.
“We support the development of a global commitment to country by country reporting on tax information for large multinational enterprises. We are committed to the strengthening of our asset recovery legislation, including through non-conviction based confiscation powers and the introduction of unexplained wealth orders.
“In order to improve on the current legal procedures and ease asset recovery procedures, we have drafted the Proceeds of Crime Bill which provides for the transparent management of recovered funds and assets and a non-conviction based approach to asset recovery.
“We will work with others countries, civil society, international organisations to support accelerated implementation of the voluntary provisions of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and we commit to the implementation of the outstanding obligations under the UNCAC.
“We support the establishment of an International Anti-Corruption Coordination Centre to be managed by National Crimes Agency of Britain. We will work with NCA in promoting this centre in the African region,” the president said.
The measures by Britain, intended to combat money laundering, were announced as Cameron seeks to build on public anger over the leaked Panama Papers to secure a new global commitment to tackle corruption at the summit.
The presidents of Afghanistan, Colombia, Ghana, Norway and Sri Lanka, United States Secretary of State John Kerry and the heads of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are among those attending.
Meanwhile, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan-led African Progress Panel has called on the United Kingdom to show leadership.
The panel in a statement said the summit provided an opportunity for the UK government to show leadership again as it did at the G8 Summit in 2013 at Lough Erne on the issues of tax and transparency.
“Transparency is a critical weapon in the fight back against corruption. For too long corporate secrecy has enabled corruption to thrive. The panel thus remains a strong advocate for the establishment of a public central registry of beneficial ownership information, for which there is now increasing international support,” the panel said.
Musician Robert Palmer, of campaigners Global Witness, added that the government announcements represented “good progress”, “but the biggest piece of the puzzle is still missing, the tax havens must open up.”
French Finance Minister Michel Sapin was quoted to have urged Britain to “go right to the end” to enforce the same levels of transparency in the tax havens as elsewhere.

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