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Senate summons Ahmed, Emefiele, others over expatriate tax evasion

The Senate on Wednesday summoned the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, to brief it on measures to curb tax evasion by expatriates.

The decision followed a motion by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, Senator Gershom Basset.

Also summoned were heads of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission.

The list also included the heads of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, the Nigerian Export-Import Bank, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, among other relevant institutions.

It mandated its committees on Finance; Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes; Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to investigate illicit financial flows.

The panels are also expected to appraise of the FIRS’ current framework for tracing, identifying, preventing and sanctioning cross-border tax evasion and other illicit financial outflows.

The Senate asked the committees to come up with a holistic legislative framework on how to repatriate lost revenue due to illicit financial flows.

Bassey, who sponsored the motion, cited a 2014 Global Financial Integrity Report, which stated, “Nigeria lost a minimum of $140bn to illicit financial flows between 2000 and 2014, mainly to crude oil and commercial activities mis-pricing.”

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By Shile GIWA
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