Adeosun Seeks Tougher Sanctions Against Multinationals On Tax Evasion
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has called for the designation of tax malpractices by multinational corporations in Nigeria and other developing countries as ‘foreign corrupt practices’.
A statement signed by Oluyinka Akintunde, Special Adviser Media and Communications to the Finance Minister explained that she spoke during a Platform for Collaboration on Tax (PCT) Conference in New York, United States (U.S).
She lamented that Nigeria was doubly affected by illicit financial flows as a result of corruption and tax evasion.
She requested global organisations such as the World Bank, IMF and United Nations to see the tax avoidance actions of multinational companies as corrupt practices.
“There is absolute need for a complete understanding of how these multinational corporations (MNCs) behave in Nigeria and developing countries, many operate a completely different standard in Africa to what obtains globally,” Adeosun said.
She decried the capability of defaulting MNCs to hide behind slow legislative processes to avoid doing what was right in the nations from which they derived significant income.
The minister, who disclosed that options to sue such companies in their own countries were being explored, said the designation of tax crime as foreign corrupt practices would support such efforts.
On the wider issue of Illicit Financial Flows, she emphasised that Nigeria, under President Muhammadu Buhari, was ‘taking strong action and was determined to reverse their impact’.
The government, according to Adeosun, is taking a number of measures internally and also taking full advantage of international initiatives to tackle the problem.
Mrs Adeosun said: “Internal measures include tightening financial controls and surveillance, adoption of the National Tax Policy with its commitment to regular revisions of tax laws and the ongoing tax amnesty programme, the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).”