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FG Shops For New Ways For Effective Tax Collection



Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed

The federal government is shopping for new and effective ways to make its non-oil revenue drive more effective at international gatherings. This was one of the issues brought up by the government officials at their meeting with member-nations of Group of Twenty, popularly known as G20 on the spin-offs of the ongoing International Monetary Fund and World Bank Meetings in Bali, Indonesia. The meeting is attended by Central Bank Governors and Ministers of Finance.

Briefing journalist on the outcome of the meeting of the government delegation with their counterparts yesterday, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed said “For us in Nigeria, what we asked for was how they can help us in fashioning out instruments that can help us pursue taxes especially from very large corporates like International Oil Companies.”

Nigeria’s greatest tax potentials are from the International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in its oil and gas sector.  According to a report that was released by a team of experts headed by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, tax evasion by multinational companies account for the about 70 percent of the Illicit Financial Flows out of Africa. Drug trafficking, smuggling, bribery and embezzlement are other main conduits.

“We did ask them (World Bank/IMF) to look at how we can prevent Transfer Pricing and how we can stop the flows that go out of that sector because these are revenue that we can use to enhance our development,” she said.

The discussions were held at the G-24 meeting of top officials of the World Bank and the IMF.  Essentially the meeting was for Nigeria to underpin how the IMF and World Bank and the investors can better provide support for the country.

Another meeting was held with investors from different parts of the world.  “We told them the Nigerian story- that Nigeria is a very good place to do business and that the return you get from Nigeria is far above what you get elsewhere.

“If an investor takes his resources to the US, for instance, he gets probably a 4 per cent return, but in Nigeria, he can get up to 13 or 14 per cent return.

“It was very well-received.  There was a lot of interest and because for that we are very confident that the next Euro Bond that we are trying to raise will have a good outing,” she stated.