The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has urged all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), as well as the organised private sector to work together to help curb illicit financial flows (IFFs).
The Chairman of the ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, who made this call on Wednesday at the Review of Report on IFFs in Relation to Tax, stressed that taxation plays a crucial role in the nation’s political economy.
The meeting was also attended by the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Muhammad Nami amongst other key stakeholders in the industry.
Owasanoye said: “It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to the physical and virtual meeting to review report on illicit financial flows (IFFs) in relation to Tax
The objective of this interaction is to improve on the awareness on illicit
fund low especially as it revolves around ihe subject of Taxation.”
“Taxes play a very strategic role in the nation’s political economy and a very crucial focus in the curbing of illicit fund flows and eases of doing business in Nigeria. It should be noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration made a commitment of taking 100 milion Nigerians out of poverty over a period of 10 years and rebuilding critical infrastructures by improving revenue generation through expansion of the tax net and efficient tax administration.
“The African Union Ilicit Financial Flow Report estimated that Africa is losing nearly $50billion through profit shifting by Multinational Corporations (MNC) and about 20% of this igure is from Nigeria alone.”
“I will close by charging all our Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the
Organized Private Sector (OPS), relevant Professional bodies, international organization and donor that all hands must be on deck to salvage our World from under-development as a result of the activities of evil men through illicit financial flows.”
Presenting the report, Mr Sanya Gbonjubola of the FIRS, listed factors that fuel IFF in commercial transactions to include: weak democratic process, cash economy, weak regulatory framework, unstructured tax incentives, cryptocurrency assets, amongst others.
Speaking on contractual clauses that promote IFF in the country, he listed: “Tax exemption clauses in contracts, contract-splitting clauses, contracts awarded to conduit companies, mobilisation clauses, clauses in government debt instruments, poor worded/negotiated/implemented clauses, poorly worded clauses in domestic tax laws and bilateral investment treaties, and un-implementable clauses in contracts.”
He explained that IFF is a triangle of Illegality and therefore urged on the need to build the capacity of the relevant stakeholders; to develop and update standard rules that curb it; and to build systems, programs and global networks to help prevent it.
While giving his remarks, the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr Muhammed Nami, pledged continued partnership with ICPC, other anti-corruption agencies and all stakeholders in curbing to help to curb Illicit Financial Flows in Nigeria.