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Nigeria, others lose $5.8 bn yearly to corporate tax waivers

By on February 23, 2017

The ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) says Nigeria loses $2.9bn annually to corporate tax waivers.

The country director of AAN Ojobo Ode Atuluku who said this Wednesday in Abuja added that apart from Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal lose $2.7 and $0.2bn respectively annually to tax waivers bring the loss of the three countries to $5.8bn annually.

She was speaking at the at the West African Summit on Tax Treaties organised by ActionAid themed, “A Common Treaty Protocol: Cutting The Giveaways”.

She lamented that Nigeria lost over $3.3 in 10 years only to tax incentives under the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Act.

She urged the labour, civil society organisations and civil servants and other stakeholders to rise as a movement to end the extravagant waivers that characterized treaties that African countries have signed into.

She said studies by her organisation and other development agencies show that there is need to take more than a mere cursory look at the treaties which has become major sources of revenue loss for African countries.

She said the natures of the double taxation agreements with advanced economies have become avenue through which multinationals, large national corporations and high net worth individuals deny the nations huge tax funds which could have propelled sound education, good health care and social infrastructures.

“We call on ECOWAS System to take the lead in agreeing on a common protocol on tax treaties in West Africa, especially on double taxation treaties,” she said.

While listing 13 countries which Nigeria’s tax treaties are in force, with none in the interest of Nigeria, she added that three other countries Kuwait (2011), Mauritius (2012) and Sweden (2004) have had their tax treaties signed and awaiting ratification.

The countries are Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain and United Kingdom.

The president, Chartered Institute of Taxation in Nigeria (CITN), Dr Teju Somorin, while commending ActionAid for organizing the summit called for more enlightenment especially on social aspect of taxation.