Nigeria loses $10bn to illicit financial flows – ICPC

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has said Nigeria accounts for 20 per cent or 10 billion dollars (N3.8 trillion) of the estimated 50 billion dollars that Africa loses to Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).

 

Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, chairman of the anti-graft agency disclosed this at a virtual meeting to review a report on IFFs in relation to tax, spokesperson for the agency, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, said in a statement on Friday.

 

“The African Union Illicit Financial Flow Report estimated that Africa is losing nearly 50 billion dollars through profit shifting by multinational corporations and about 20 per cent of this figure is from Nigeria alone”, Owasanoye was quoted as saying.

 

While noting that taxes played “very strategic role in the nation’s political economy”, the ICPC chair said the objective of the meeting was to improve on the awareness on IFFs, especially in the areas of taxation, and would avail participants an opportunity to openly discuss how to effectively use the instrumentality of taxation to curb IFFs through risk-based approach.

 

“Risk-based approach, that is: monitoring and audit; due process in tax collection; structured tax amnesty framework skewed in public interest; data privacy; timely resolution of audits and payment of tax refunds and intelligence sharing among revenue generating, regulatory and law enforcement agencies”.

 

FIRS Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nani, expressed concern that IFFs posed a serious threat to the Nigerian economy as the act robbed the nation of resources that were needed for development.

 

He said tackling IFFs would expand the country’s tax base and improve revenue generation, which was required for development, and called for policy reforms that would make it difficult for “capital flights” from occurring so that the country would be placed on the path of growth.

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