In a bid to boost Nigeria’s fight against Corruption, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) moves to grant the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) access to its database to enable it to carry out a seamless investigation of companies suspected to be engaged in illicit activities.
Speaking in Abuja on Friday while receiving the Chairman of CCB, Prof. Muhammad Isah, the Registrar-General of the CAC, Alhaji Garba Abubakar said the time was ripe for the commission to explore more areas of collaboration particularly in real-time.
He stressed that in view of CAC’s strategic collaboration with other anti-corruption Agencies including the EFCC, ICPC and INTERPOL amongst others, the commission established a dedicated unit to expeditiously handle requests for information and other services.
According to a statement from Rasheed Mahe, Abubakar noted that any member of the public could conduct what he called a first-level check on the status of any company on the CAC website via the public search window at no cost.
He explained that the introduction of beneficial ownership disclosure or person with significant control would soon be extended to open data format to enable investigators to extract information on any company as well as query the database to amongst others detect whether a particular name had featured in different companies.
The Registrar-General also revealed that the commission was working assiduously for integration with the National Identity Management Commission’s database to enable it to validate the identity of anyone applying to register a Company in order to eliminate incidences of submitting cloned copies of means of identification to the CAC.
The CAC boss, therefore, reiterated his commitment to ensuring continued synergy and collaboration with the CCB and other anti-corruption bodies in a bid to strengthen the anti-money laundering and anti-corruption initiatives of the Present Administration.
On his part, the Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau, Professor Muhammad Isa expressed satisfaction with the support and cooperation the CCB had received from the Registrar-General since his assumption of office.
The CCB Chairman said in view of emerging trends in company law, there was a need for more robust collaboration between the two agencies to unravel the identities of those perpetrating various economic crimes in the country.
While speaking on the mandate of the CCB which was established under Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution, Professor Isa said it was equally empowered under Part 1 of the 3rd Schedule to enforce the Code of Conduct for Public Officers enshrined under Part 1 of the 5th Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic.
He stressed that the CCB was amongst others empowered to enforce asset declaration as one of the 14 Code of Conduct for Public Officers and added that Conflict of Interest, Bribery, Abuse of Office, Double Remuneration, Operation of Foreign Accounts and Membership of Secret Society amongst others were all under their purview.
He described Asset Declaration as the Life ware of corruption fight to all Anti-Corruption Agencies and therefore charged Public Officers to declare their assets accordingly as the measure was also meant to protect their interest.