US Congress Passes Bill To Tackle Anonymously-Owned Shell Companies Owned by Nigerians, Others

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The United States government has voted to pass a landmark corporate transparency bill as an international anti-corruption organization, Global Witness, commending the action.

The decision by the American House of Representatives to put an end to anonymously-owned shell companies will help the Nigerian government in dealing with corrupt individuals and organizations in the country.

Global Witness said in a statement by Alexandria Robins, Assistant Policy Advisor in Global Witness’ Anti-Money Laundering team, said: “The House of Representatives made history with a majority vote to move the Corporate Transparency Act out of Committee and towards the House floor. We have campaigned for years to put an end to anonymously-owned companies used by criminals to operate in secrecy, to launder dirty money, and, ultimately, to get away with their crimes.

“Congress is finally stepping up and tackling this issue head-on with a bipartisan bill that would tell criminals and the corrupt that the US is not open for business. Together, 33 Democrats and 10 Republicans in the House Financial Services Committee decided that the US should no longer be a haven for illicit funds.”

Just prior to the house committee vote, Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Mike Rounds (R-SD)—all members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs—also introduced a draft bill that proposed a range of reforms to current anti-money laundering laws in order to make them more effective.

“That bill includes a section which mirrors the Corporate Transparency Act and is aimed at ending anonymous companies as well. This shows that there is bipartisan support for corporate transparency in the Senate, and that leading figures there are serious about pursuing a solution,” said the statement.

“We welcome the efforts of these Senators to draft the ILLICIT CASH Act and we applaud Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Pete King (R-NY) for their enduring leadership on this issue to see the Corporate Transparency Act passed out of committee…Congress is inching closer to a landmark achievement in the effort to combat illicit finance and corruption around the world.”

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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