Illicit financial flows threaten economic stability, says Nigeria’s finance minister
Minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed has disclosed that illicit financial flows, unless checked, will continue to significantly erode domestic revenues, enable corruption, threaten economic stability.
This disclosure was made by the minister on Tuesday during her keynote address at the international conference on illicit financial flows and asset recovery.
According to the finance minister, Nigeria has implemented significant measures to curb illicit financial flow and ensure asset recovery.
She identified several measures implemented by the government including deployment of technology in tax collection which, according to her, this has reduced crime and increased public trust.
She warned that if unchecked, illicit financial flows will continue to “significantly erode domestic revenues, enable corruption, threaten economic stability and sustainable development, divert money from public priorities and hamper government’s efforts to mobilize domestic resources and recover better.”
“As one of the most affected countries, Nigeria has demonstrated strong commitment to addressing illicit financial flows through our participation in the Open Government Partnership and the significant progress made in the extractive industry,” she said.
“We have demonstrated that technology-enabled improvements in tax collection and compliance help deter tax crime and facilitate public trust.
“Also, the mainstreaming of transparency and anti-corruption measures into economic-policy-making processes significantly reduces crime.
“Similarly, establishing an accurate, up-to-date and public beneficial ownership register; and strengthening the automatic exchange of tax information; helps address the commercial components of illicit financial flows.”
Ahmed said about 65 percent of illicit financial flows across Africa is derived from commercial activities such as aggressive tax avoidance and tax evasion, abusive transfer pricing, profit shifting, among others.
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