The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has discovered huge tax infractions from multinational firms in the country running into several trillions of the naira
Chairman of the Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, in this revelation said Nigeria lost N5.4 Trillion to tax evasion by multi-nationals operating in the country from 2011 – 2021, in a paper presented at the 38th Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, titled: “Combating of Crime, Corruption and implication for Development and Security”.
Bawa, represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Sambo Mayana, revealed looting of resources in the oil and gas sector adding that since he took over in March, the agency had recovered over N6 billion and over $161 million from people who committed economic crimes.
The Commission also recovered £13,000, €1,730, 200 Canadian dollars, CFA 373,000, ¥8,430 and 30 Real Estates.
“We have arrested over 1500 internet fraudsters, many of whom are being prosecuted,” he said.
Till date the EFCC since its creation had secured over 3,400 convictions.
The symposium was organized by the Center for International Documentation on Organized and Economic Crime (CIDOEC), Jesus College, University of Cambridge,, United Kingdom.
Bawa called on leaders across the world to rise to the challenge of fighting corruption to enhance global economic development and security.
According to the EFCC boss, economic and financial crimes including corruption, which manifest in various forms in different nations, are at the core of global development and security challenges.
Citing a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD, he noted that, “Resources that could support a country’s development are lost through criminal acts like corruption, tax evasion, money laundering, and others.
“The “spoiler” effects on countries’ development processes are diverse, and particularly severe for fragile states: economic crime, including illicit financial flows, diverts much needed resources needed to rebuild countries’ public services, from security and justice to basic social services such as health and education”.
The EFCC chair said the absence of substantial improvement in the living condition of the people in Africa and the rest of the developing countries, in spite of their natural resources, can be blamed on pervasive economic crimes taking place in these countries.
“The incidence of illegal mining, smuggling of goods, tax evasion, illegal oil bunkering, illegal arms deals just to mention but a few does not allow the government to receive the full accruals from the continent’s vast resources that are needed for development. The revenue generated are embezzled by government officials and their collaborators in the private sector. This does not allow for economic growth and by extension a hindrance to development”, he said.
Speaking on the Nigerian experience, Bawa disclosed that over N 6 Trillion has been expended so far on the war against terrorism in Nigeria since 2008 .
He however noted that all hope was not lost as the country, under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, has demonstrated commitment and political will in dealing with the issue of economic crimes through a number of legislative and institutional reforms.
Bawa said the agency is committed in tackling financial fraud and that as at August 2021, the EFCC has well over 3408 convictions