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Nigeria reports multinationals' tax evasion to global body

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Staff Writer | February 21, 2018
Nigeria's campaign against tax evasion, especially by Multinational Companies (MNCs) operating in the country, was taken to the Platform for Collaboration on Tax (PCT) conference in New York, United States.
Kemi Adeosun
Africa   The seriousness of the trend
To show the seriousness of the trend, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who made the complaint, called for the designation of tax malpractice by the MNCs across developing countries as "foreign corrupt practices."

PCT is an initiative of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United Nations.

Reports have quoted Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, as estimating the country's loss to multinationals' tax evasion and avoidance at $1trillion over a period of time.

Osinbajo, at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in June last year, said Nigeria lost about $178 billion to illicit financial flows in the last 10 years. The loss was also a result of tax avoidance by multinationals through tax-related treaties on profit shifting.

Already, the ongoing Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) has been projected to generate about $1 billion, being taxes evaded by individuals, corporates and multinationals in the country.

Conservatively, by the amount projected to be generated, given the current official exchange rate of N306 per dollar, Nigeria has been losing no less than N306 billion yearly.

This represents 13 percent of the capital budget proposal of N2.43 trillion in the 2018 national plan and could comfortably execute many development projects in the ministries of education, interior, health and water resources.