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Senate to probe ownership of some multinational companies

The Committee on Local Content has concluded plans to investigate 100 per cent foreign ownership of some multinational companies registered in Nigeria.


The Chairman of the committee, Sen. Solomon Adeola, made this known in Port Harcourt, while briefing newsmen at the end of a two day oversight visit to Rivers and Bayelsa states.
He said it was worrisome for some multinational companies registered in Nigeria to have 100 per cent foreign ownership.
“I was astonished to find out that many of these companies have been in Nigeria for upward of 50 years and have been doing business without getting Nigerians involved.
“We find it disturbing that a company will be in Nigeria for so many years without consideration to their shareholding structure.
“We put the blame on those who were meant to implement or monitor these companies except if there is legislation that allows that, that we do not know about.
“Some of these companies bear ‘Nigeria Limited’ but they are 100 per cent owned by their parent bodies abroad.
“I wonder how they scaled through the Corporate Affairs Commission’s scrutiny to the extent that they are unnoticed and they have been submitting returns to the commission over these years.
“I would not know if there is any law that gives them that opportunity or is it that some people are conniving with them to defraud Nigeria in this regard.
“All these are what we will unearth by the time the committee is putting together its report,” he said.
Adeola (APC-Lagos) said the committee would find out if there is legislation that permitted such, then come out with a firm position on matter.
On non-listing of some of the companies on Nigeria’s stock exchange, the lawmaker said it was worrisome.
According to him, the committee found out that companies like Halliburton, TechnipFMC, Saipem and a host of others have not been listed on the stock exchange.
He said, “it baffles me what gave them the impetus to remain a fully foreign owned company in Nigeria and some have operated for well over 50 years.
“We will come out to the public with our findings. If we found out that the gap is in our legislation we will know what to do and if they are merely taking advantage of Nigeria we will also know what to do.”
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