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FEC moves against tax evasion by multinational companies

By The Citizen
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The Federal Executive Council, FEC, has given approval for the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the exchange of country by country report to save Nigeria at least $1 trillion in tax evasion.

By the agreement, it would be difficult for multinational companies operating on Nigeria's soil to evade tax, since the system would give the government a better grip of the tax laws.

This development was made known by the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed alongside his colleagues in the Ministries of Power, Works, Housing, and Transportation, Messrs Babatunde Fashola and Chibuike Amaechi at a press conference after yesterday's FEC meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Mohammed said Nigeria had lost a whopping $1 trillion, spanning over a length of time due to the lack of the agreement.

He also revealed that the council gave its nod for the construction of a bigger port in Badagry, Lagos State.

He said: 'Council approved two important memos. The first approval was given for the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the exchange of country by country report. An approval was also given for the outline business case for development of greenfield port facilities in Badagry, Lagos State.

'In respect of the first memo which is the memo for Multilateral Competent Agreement and the exchange of country by country report, the whole essence is to give the government a better grip on its tax laws and also to prevent tax evasions and avoidance by multinational companies.

'At the last count, over $1trillion has been lost over a period of time and the revenue companies have found that they were losing more money in terms of tax evasion and avoidance than what they were even receiving as grants from multinational agencies.'

'So this is a law that provides that if a company like MTN or Nestle, for instance, is operating in Nigeria, not only must it file returns on its activities in Nigeria, it must also file returns on its activities in every other country that they are doing business.

''Apart from shoring up our finances, I think it is part of the fight against corruption and it also enhances transparency”, the minister added.