US, Spain, France Major Destinations Of Stolen Funds – Study

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A study has revealed that US, Spain and France are among the top five countries where stolen funds from Nigeria are stashed away in foreign accounts.

The research commissioned by the Public Service International Research Unit (PSIRU), a London-based research group, which investigates the impact of privatisation,  and liberalisation on public services, also identified Japan and Germany as the other top countries.

Meanwhile the Nigeria Labour Congress  (NLC) has said it will protest in the countries where Nigeria’s stolen funds are trapped, making special reference to Switzerland.

Making the details of the study known at a workshop organised by PSI in Tax Justice in Africa, in Abuja, the PSI director of policy and governance, Daniel Bertossa, said reports indicate that between 1980 and 2009, about $1.4 trillion was lost to Africa from illicit financial flows.

Quoting from the Economic Commission for Africa  (ECA) report, he said an estimated $50 billion is lost annually in Africa to illicit financial flow which is double the amount of aid received by the continent.

He said reports showed that as at 2013, Nigeria was ranked one of the top 10 countries in the world which has greatest outflows of illicit funds.

Bertossa said Nigeria also lost over $3 billion annually to tax Incentives and Import Waivers. He said while the country loses $2.9 billion to corporate tax incentives, it also loses $327 million annually to import duty exemption.

“If we collect tax from the multinational then we can get enough funds for development.

There is enough money for development but government has to ensure they locate those who have got the money and ensure they play their taxes.

He said “Shell is estimated to collect about $149 million in tax incentives. Total, another oil company receive about $43 million in incentives. And if we look at who are the beneficiaries of these incentives, it is the very rich companies.”

Also speaking, NLC president Ayuba Wabba frowned at tax exemptions granted to multi nationals and those he described as rich and powerful Nigerians.

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