Barring any hiccups, the Register General’s Department (RGD) is expected to deploy the much-anticipated central beneficiary ownership (OB) register by next week.
The deployment of the BO register will be done concurrently with the upgrade of the Company’s’ Act, 2019, (Act 992) in fulfillment of government’s quest of creating an ‘ease in doing business’ environment in the country. Implementation of the BO register will ensure an establishment and maintenance of written procedures that are reasonably designed to identify and verify beneficial owners of legal entity customers and to include such procedures in anti-money laundering compliance programmes.
Beneficial owners include is individuals with direct or indirect interest in a company or transaction, individuals with the right or exercise direct or indirect influence over a company and persons with the right or exercise direct or indirect influence over the appointment of directors or individuals with majority of voting rights.
“We should have deployed the BO register and upgraded the Act 992 last weekend but we had some technical challenges with our software developer-GcNet, and so it was unfortunate but we are trusting it can be done this coming weekend, Registrar General, Mrs. Jemima Oware, has revealed.
She said the RGD had already held meeting with players in the extractive industry-oil and gas, and minerals actors. “From the point when we will deploy the BO register, as they come to register, industry players have to provide BO data on the platform. Everybody will be obliged to comply before registering.”
All other things being equal, deployment or implementation of the BO register is expected help the fight against corruption, contract fraud, conflict of interest, money laundering, terrorism financing and other forms of financial crimes.
The Registrar General was speaking with the B&FT on the sidelines of the opening of RGD’s Sunyani office. With the opening of the new Sunyani office, RGD now has five offices in the country. The rest are Accra (head office), Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale.
She said one of the key pillars in the reforms of the Department is to decentralize its services, hence the Sunyani office, adding that efforts are in place to open offices in all the 16 regions, indicating that it is in line with its mission to ensure efficient and effective administration of statues relating to, among others, the Registration of Companies, Business names, Partnerships, Industrial Property, Marriages and the Administration of Estates and the benefit of Government Agencies, the Business Community and the Public at large.
Mrs. Oware, advised the public not to deal with middlemen also known as ‘Goro boys’ in accessing the services of the Registrar General’s Department. She stressed that the Department has not delegated powers to any agent or intermediary and that anybody who will deal with such persons does so at their own risk.
“Don’t allow any goro boy to intimidate you to pay money on any mobile money number. The Department doesn’t have any ‘momo’ number. If anybody, claiming to be calling from our audit or legal unit, ask you to pay business renewal fee or whatsoever via momo, it’s untrue,” she said.
Jemima Oware, Registrar General