Nigeria, biggest loser of illicit financial flows – Adeosun

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Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has disclosed that Nigeria is the biggest loser of the $50 billion dollars illicit financial flows out of Africa annually.

Adeosun made the disclosure while speaking on the issue of taxation and revenue leakages at a tax conference organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development at the UN Headquarters in New York.

She lamented that the amount of money Africa lost through illicit financial flows was more than the aid coming into the continent.

She expressed regrets that destination countries do not question the source of such funds. Saying she had to attend to a questionnaire when the stolen money is requested for.

According to her “We’re battling with the Swiss on Abacha. Abacha loot sat in the Swiss Bank account – 320 million dollars – for 22 years. We’ve been battling through the courts and we still have more recent cases”.

Adeosun who was on a panel that discussed ‘Revenue Leakages: Illicit Financial Flows’ said Nigeria had one of the lowest tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio in the world at just six percent.

The minister explained ”when the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari came on board, it met an empty treasury”, adding that the situation was compounded by the collapse of the oil price.

She regretted that Nigeria also suffered from tax avoidance and evasion, saying Nigeria’s tax laws are poor and weak.

Adeosun said the Federal Government has constituted a committee to review entrance into international treaties; embarked on updating of tax laws and make the laws efficient.

The minister also held a private meeting with the Head of OECD Global Forum on Exchange of Information, Ms. Monica Bhatia, on the sideline of the Platform for Collaboration on Tax Conference.

She attended the meeting alongside the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Tunde Fowler, the meeting focused on Nigeria’s efforts for developing international networks and collaboration with other countries to secure taxpayer information.

 

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