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FIRS Recovers N3.63bn From Illicit Financial Flows

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  • FIRS Recovers N3.63bn From Illicit Financial Flows

    The Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) said it has recovered about N3.63 billion by curbing Illicit Financial Flows between January 2017 and August 2018 in the country.

    The Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Tunde Fowler, made this revelation on Thursday in Abuja at the Inter-Ministerial African Union High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).

    Mr Fowler said the FIRS had made positive strides in curbing IFFs such as illegal tax evasion and abusive transfer mispricing by companies operating in the country.

    “Total tax debt recovered from January 2017 to 31st August 2018 is N3.63 billion. From November 2016 to December 2017, we also recovered N1.9 billion,” he said.

    Mr Fowler also said the Service had uncovered 114 companies that claimed that they were not aware of lands worth billions of Naira allocated to them in Abuja.

    He said the FIRS had confirmed from the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS), that the lands were actually allocated to the companies.

    He said the Service would soon hand over the false claims to the Attorney General of the Federation for further action on the controversial lands.

    Meanwhile, Thabo Mbeki, the Chairman, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s High Level Panel on IFF, said that Africa was losing about 80 billion dollars annually through IFFs.

    Mr Mbeki, who is also a former South African President, said the huge sums came from proceeds of commercial transactions through multinational companies, criminal activities and corruption.

    According to him, illicit financial flow poses developmental challenges on the continent, in terms of draining hard currency reserve, reduced tax collection, deepening income gap, depleting investment and weakening governance.

    He harped on the need to strengthen institutions like the Revenue Service Agencies, Customs Services and the legislation, to enable them to tackle better, incidences of money laundering as well as other forms of IFFs.