The Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Rafsanjani, disclosed that Nigeria loses about US$2.9 billion yearly to tax waivers granted to multinational companies.
Rafsanjani added that Africa had lost US$1 trillion in illicit financial flows (IFFs), out of which US$50 billion is lost annually over the last 50 years.
He said that in spite of the huge loss to tax waivers, the government increased value-added taxes (VAT), which affected the poor more from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent.
International Monetary Fund and World Bank have all expressed concerns over the likely sharp increase in inequality and poverty arising from the pandemic.
“This is with estimates projecting that 42.1 per cent of the sub-region will be pushed into extreme poverty.
“Worse yet, the World Bank further indicated that the poverty increase could take more than a decade to reverse, erasing all hopes of countries meeting their national development plan targets to reduce poverty and inequality by 2030.
“On the other hand, the wealthiest people in the region fare differently, as the three wealthiest men in the region, who are all based in Nigeria, have seen their wealth expand from US$16.8 billion in March 2020 to US$23.2 billion by July 2021.’
This goes to show that it is wrong for people, who are minimum wage earners, to struggle to pay taxes when such people are the ones exempted from paying tax in other countries.