Adeosun woos global bodies to combat foreign corrupt practices

Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Nigeria's Minister of Finance.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has urged global bodies like the World Bank to help curb foreign corrupt practices by multinational corporations in Nigeria and other developing countries.

The Special Adviser to the Minister on Media and Communications, Mr Oluyinka Akintunde, in a statement on Monday, quoted Adeosun as making the call at the Platform for Collaboration on Tax (PCT) Conference in New York.

“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,”  she said.

Adeosun said that many MNCs were hiding behind slow legislative processes to avoid doing what was right in nations from which they derived significant income.

She said that options to sue such companies in their own countries were being explored.

The minister said that the designation of tax crime as foreign corrupt practices would support such efforts.

On the wider issue of illicit financial flows, Adeosun said that Nigeria, under President Muhammadu Buhari, was taking strong actions and was determined to reverse their impact.

“Internal measures like tightening financial controls and surveillance, adoption of the National Tax Policy with its commitment to regular revisions of tax laws and the ongoing tax amnesty programme have been adopted,”  she said.

Adeosun said the Nigerian Government would use every available avenue to improve its revenue generation and tax collection.

“The Nigerian Government is taking responsibility for preventing illicit flows.

“However, the range of measures used and the sheer volumes are such that the recipient nations must also take measures to discourage the flows into their countries by asking more questions,”  she said.

The minister lauded the recent initiative of the United Kingdom Government with Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) and requested that more countries adopt such measures.

She said that Nigeria was studying the options for introducing similar measures in the country.

Amaka E. Nliam