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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Tuesday, disclosed that Nigeria has executed important measures to curtail illegal financial flow and guarantee recovery of assets.
Ahmed spoke at the International Conference on Illicit Financial Flow and Asset Recovery which took place virtually.
In her opening speech, the Minister depicted Nigeria as one of the most affected nations as far as illegal financial flow is concerned.
She said, “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.
“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 clarified that among other things; the Federal Government has set up an autonomous Financial Intelligence Unit within the Central Bank and joint agreements with numerous dire target nations which include the United States and Switzerland to guarantee the return of stolen assets.
As indicated by her, about 65 per cent of illegal financial flows across Africa originate from commercial activities such as violent tax avoidance and tax evasion, via trade mispricing, offensive transfer pricing, profit shifting, and tax trading.
The Minister stated that if uncontrolled, IFFs 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.”
Ahmed, thus, urged continued collaboration between Africa and multifaceted firms to eliminate illegal financial flow, thus allowing environmental, social, and economic growth across the region.
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