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Nigeria losses $2.9bn from tax waivers

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) says Nigeria loses about US$2.9 billion yearly to tax waivers granted to multinational companies.

Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Rafsanjani said this in Abuja at the Pan African Conference on Combating Illicit Financial Flow (IFFs) to Bridge the Widening Inequality Gap.

Mr Rafsanjani noted that Value-Added Tax (VAT) which was increased from 5% to 7.5% affected the poorer Nigerians more.

Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader, Mr Tiawo Oyedele, speaking on the need for global tax reforms, says there was the need for Nigeria as a country to review it’s tax system to identify necessary changes in line with the global reform.

Mr Taiwo explained that Illicit Financial Flow (IFF) was a major avenue of loss to Nigeria compared to tax avoidance.

He said that the level of tax evasion in Nigeria is alarming, adding that South Africa’s recent tax result shows that an equivalent of N34 trillion was collected during the pandemic, whereas Nigeria was yet to collect “one or seven trillion naira” with all its states and agencies put together.

Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Garba Abubakar, represented by the Director, Mr Abdulhakeem Mohammed, observed that the Pandora Papers exposure, proved that poverty, inequality, lack of infrastructure, and good governance have not been fully addressed.

“Public Registers of Beneficial Ownership are important tools for advancing the fight against corruption, tax abuse, asset shielding, and illicit financial flows and so on”, he added.

Reporting by Muzha Kucha