Finance ministry seeks IMF’s help to go after oil companies for tax



Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, says that the federal government has asked the International Monetary Fund for help in getting taxes from large oil companies.

Ahmed told journalists on Friday that the federal government’s decision is to curb financial outflows from the sector.

“The G24 meeting was chaired by the vice president of the World Bank representing the president of the World Bank and the CEO of the IMF,” she told journalists on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Bali, Indonesia.

“For us in Nigeria, what we asked was how can they help us in fashioning out instruments that can help us to pursue taxes from very large corporates like international oil companies.

“In Nigeria, our greatest tax potentials are from the IOCs that operate in the oil and gas sector yet this is an industry that from the report of the Thabo Mbeki shows that 70% of the financial outflows from Africa, Nigeria included, is related to the extractive industry.

“So we asked to look at how we can prevent transfer pricing, how we can stop the flows from that sector. Those are the revenues we need to enhance our development”.

The government has tried in recent times made efforts to increase tax compliance, one of such efforts is the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).

Ahmed said she has held meetings with investors, telling them the Nigerian story.

“If they go to the US, they will be getting returns of about four percent but if they come to Nigeria, they will be getting returns of between 13-14 percent.”

Other meetings attended by the minister included a meeting with Commonwealth ministers on how to better prepare and respond to natural disasters.

 

 

TheCable