Nigeria’s Minister of Finance has appealed to global leaders to treat practices of tax evasion by multinational corporations in her country as foreign corrupt practices.
Kemi Adeosun made her case during the first global conference of the Platform for Collaboration on Tax in New York City. The platform partners – International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, United Nations and the World Bank – created the organization in 2016 in order to help countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
To do so requires significant public financing, and the platform partners want to ensure that there’s transparency and efficiency in domestic taxation while supporting international tax cooperation.
“The designation of these tax crimes as ‘foreign corrupt practices’ would support efforts by countries like Nigeria to sue these multinational corporations in their home countries,” said Adeosun, who also served on a panel to discuss illicit financial flows. “We must bring the exploitation to an end.”
Corporations play by a different set of rules in Africa, she said, and often take advantage of slow legal processes to “avoid doing what is right.” Nigeria has taken steps to curb abuses and instituted a National Tax Policy, but Nigeria cannot do it alone. “Recipient nations must also take measures to discourage inflows into their countries by asking more questions,” she added.
To that end, Adeosun’s appeal is consistent with the priorities the platform spelled out in its closing statement following the conference. To read the entire platform statement, check this link.
Image: United Nations