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.
She made the call at Platform for Collaboration on Tax, PCT, conference in New York, which rounded off over the weekend.
The PCT is an initiative of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, IMF, and United Nations.
The minister explained that Nigeria was doubly affected by illicit financial flows as a result of corruption and tax evasion.
She requested global organisations such as the OECD, 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 lamented 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.
Adeosun, 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.