Nigeria loses $2.9 billion annually to corporate tax waivers, the ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has said.
The country director of AAN, Ms. Ojobo Ode Atuluku, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, said Ghana and Senegal also 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 West African Summit on Tax Treaties organised by ActionAid themed, ‘A Common Treaty Protocol: Cutting the Giveaways’.
Mrs Atuluku also stated that Nigeria lost over $3.3bn in 10 years to tax incentives under the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Act.
She urged the labour, civil society organisations civil servants and other stakeholders to rise as a movement to end the extravagant waivers that characterise treaties that African countries have signed.
She said studies by her organisation and other development agencies showed that there is need to take more than a cursory look at the treaties which have become major sources of revenue loss for African countries.
She said the nature of the double taxation agreements with advanced economies has 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.
Atuluku listed 13 countries which Nigeria’s tax treaties are in force, with none in the interest of Nigeria, adding that three other countries -Kuwait (2011), Mauritius (2012) and Sweden (2004) - have had their tax treaties signed and awaiting ratification.
The 13 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 organising the summit, called for more enlightenment especially on the social aspect of taxation.
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