Finance minister raises alarm over multinational companies in Nigeria who evade tax

Finance minister raises alarm over multinational companies in Nigeria who evade tax

- The minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun, has said that tax evasion by multinational companies should be seen as 'foreign corrupt practices'

- Adeosun reveals that the possibility of suing such companies in their countries is being considered

- She says the federal government is taking decisive steps to curb illegal financial flows and is doing its best to reverse their impact

Kemi Adeosun, the minister of finance, has called for the designation of tax crimes by multinational corporations in Nigeria and other developing countries as ‘foreign corrupt practices’.

Adeosun said this at the Platform for Collaboration on Tax (PCT) conference in New York, which ended recently, Premium Times reports.

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The PCT is an idea of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and United Nations. The minister explained that Nigeria was drastically 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 view tax evasion of multinational companies as criminal practices.

Adeosun stated: “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.”

The minister revealed that the possibility of suing such companies in their own countries is being explored. She said that referring to tax crimes as foreign corrupt practices would support such efforts.

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Concerning illicit financial flows, she stressed that the Buhari-led administration was taking strong actions and was determined to reverse their impact. Adeosun said the federal government is taking some decisive steps locally and also taking full advantage of international initiatives to handle the plight.

She further said: “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).”

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The minister stated further that the presidency would employ all available opportunities to improve its revenue generation and tax collection. She credited the United Nations with putting the issue of illegal financial flows at the forefront of its fight.

Meanwhile, reported that the federal government was committed to doubling Nigeria’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio from its current six per cent to 12% by year 2020.

The minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun, said in an interview with newsmen in New York that Nigeria was among the lowest tax-paying country in the world.

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