By Ejike Ejike, Abuja
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has said Nigeria accounts for 20 per cent (about $10 billion) of the estimated $50 billion that Africa loses to Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).
The chairman of the commission, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, made the disclosure in his welcome remark at a physical and virtual zoom meeting to review the report on IFFs in relation to tax.
Owasanoye said, “The African Union Illicit Financial Flow Report estimated that Africa is losing nearly $50 billion through profit shifting by multinational corporations and about 20 per cent of this figure is from Nigeria alone.”
ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, quoted the ICPC boss explained that taxes play a “very strategic role in the nation’s political economy.”
Against this backdrop, he underscored the importance of the meeting, noting that it would afford participants the opportunity to openly discuss on how to effectively use the instrumentality of taxation to curb IFFs through “risk-based approach to monitoring and audit; due process in tax collection; structured tax amnesty framework, especially that which is skewed in public interest; data privacy; timely resolution of audits and payment of tax refunds; and intelligence sharing among revenue generating; regulatory and law enforcement agencies.”
The ICPC boss also said that for the contemporary tax man to remain relevant, he must build his capacity in areas of technology management, solution architects and an astute relationship manager.
He noted that the objective of the meeting was to improve on the awareness of IFFs, especially in the areas of taxation.
In his contribution to the discourse, the executive chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Muhammad Nani, expressed concerns that IFFs pose a serious threat to the Nigerian economy as the act robs the nation of resources that are needed for development.