Nigeria lost N5.4trn to tax evasion by multi-nationals — FIRS boss

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 Ajami must goA map of Nigeria

·Moves against illicit financial outflow

Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief

ECONOMY

Nigeria may have lost about $178billion (about N5.4 billion) to tax evasion by multi-nationals in ten years.

Consequently, the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has resolve to moved against illicit financial outflow from the country and enforce tax compliance among multi-nationals operating in the country.

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FIRS Executive Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Nami, who made these disclosures at a workshop on Effective Audit of Multinational Corporations for Domestic Revenue Mobilisation in Nigeria, in Abuja, yesterday, cited a 2014 report by the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, which stated that Nigeria accounted for 30.5% of money lost by the continent through illicit financial flows.

Nami expressed worries that, “many rich Multinational Corporations do not pay the right taxes due from them, let alone pay their taxes voluntarily.”

He stated further: “At the FIRS we are paying greater attention to tax audit in general and Transfer Pricing audit in particular in order to improve the level of tax compliance in the country.

“As a result, in the last one year, we have created more than 35 additional Tax Audit Units and deployed experienced and capable staff to take charge of these offices.”

The FIRS boss charged participants at the workshop to come up with “a novel methodology that would be used to uncover illicit financial flows” and “provide an overview of related policy options for enhancing tax revenue collection in general,”

Given the recent decline of oil resources, which had been the major revenue earner for the country, Mr. Nami said, “taxation is expected to continue to shoulder the Government’s Budget performance the way it did in 2020.”

He added, “This underscores the importance of this workshop, as tax audit of Multinational Corporations is very crucial in Nigeria’s domestic revenue mobilisation.

“For me, this Workshop is an important step towards boosting compliance level; and, I have strong hopes that its outcome will further increase our efforts at driving tax compliance among Multinational Corporations in Nigeria.”

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