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Nigeria seeks sanction against foreign firms engaging in tax malpractice

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Multinational companies operating in Nigeria and engaged in tax malpractices should be designated and treated as ‘foreign corrupt practices,’ Nigeria’s minister of finance has said.Image result for kemi adeosun

Kemi Adeosun told a conference on in New York tagged the Platform for Collaboration on Tax (PCT) that Nigeria was doubly affected by illicit financial flows as a result of corruption and tax evasion.
She requested global organisations such as the OECD, World Bank, IMF and United Nations to see the tax avoidance actions of multinational companies as corrupt practices.
“There is absolute need for a complete understanding of how these Multinational Corporations (MNCs) behave in Nigeria and developing countries, many operate a completely different standard in Africa to what obtains globally,” Adeosun said.
She lamented the capability of defaulting MNCs to hide behind slow legislative processes to avoid doing what was right in the nations from which they derived significant income.
The Minister, who disclosed that options to sue such companies in their own countries were being explored, said that the designation of tax crime as foreign corrupt practices would support such efforts.
The PCT is an initiative of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and United Nations.
On the issue of illicit Financial Flows, the minister said Nigeria ‘taking strong action and was determined to reverse their impact’.
Africa’s top economy, according to Adeosun is taking a number of measures internally and also taking full advantage of international initiatives to tackle the problem.
“Internal measures include tightening financial controls and surveillance, adoption of the National Tax Policy with its commitment to regular revisions of tax laws and the ongoing tax amnesty programme, the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS),” are some of the steps being taken by the government to stem tax malpractices and illicit financial flows out of the country, she said.
She said Nigeria would use every available avenue to improve its revenue generation and tax collection and credited the United Nations with putting the issue of Illicit Financial Flows at the forefront of the fight against IFF.
She noted that that it was ‘entirely appropriate that we are discussing this issue in the United Nations Headquarters, as this is a United Nations sized problem’.
“The Nigerian Government is taking responsibility for preventing illicit flows but the range of measures used and the sheer volumes are such that the recipient nations must also take measures to discourage the flows into their countries by asking more questions,” Adeosun noted.

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