Nigeria accounts for 20 per cent or $10bn (N3.8tn) of the estimated $50bn that Africa loses to illicit financial flows, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has said.
The Chairman, ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, disclosed this at a meeting to review a report on IFFs in relation to tax, according to a statement on Friday by the commission’s spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua.
“The African Union Illicit Financial Flow Report estimated that Africa is losing nearly 50 billion dollars through profit shifting by multinational corporations and about 20 per cent of this figure is from Nigeria alone,” Owasanoye said.
The ICPC boss, who said taxes played “very strategic role in the nation’s political economy”, stressed the need for a risk-based approach.
According to him, the approach includes monitoring and audit, due process in tax collection, structured tax amnesty framework 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 Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr Muhammad Nani, was quoted as saying illicit financial flows posed a serious threat to the Nigerian economy as the act robbed the nation of resources needed for development.
Nani suggested policy reforms as a measure to tackle IFFs and make difficult “capital flights” from occurring, thereby expanding the country’s tax base and improving its revenue generation.