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Zainab Ahmed4

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Tuesday, said Nigeria has implemented significant measures to curb illicit financial flow and ensure asset recovery.

The minister spoke at the International Conference on Illicit Financial Flows and Asset Recovery which was held virtually.

In her keynote address, Ahmed described Nigeria as one of the most affected countries as far as illicit financial flow is concerned.

She said, “As one of the most affected countries, Nigeria has demonstrated strong commitment to addressing illicit financial flows through our participation in the Open Government Partnership and the significant progress made in the extractive industry.

“We have demonstrated that technology-enabled improvements in tax collection and compliance help deter tax crime and facilitate public trust.


“Also, the mainstreaming of transparency and anti-corruption measures into economic-policy-making processes significantly reduces crime.

“Similarly, establishing an accurate, up-to-date and public beneficial ownership register; and strengthening the automatic exchange of tax information; helps address the commercial components of illicit financial flows.”


She explained that among other things, the Federal Government has established an independent Financial Intelligence Unit within the Central Bank and bilateral agreements with several critical destination countries including the United States and Switzerland to ensure the return of stolen assets.

According to her, about 65 per cent of illicit financial flows across Africa emanate from commercial activities such as aggressive tax avoidance and tax evasion, through trade mispricing, abusive transfer pricing, profit shifting, and tax arbitraging.


The minister added that if unchecked, IFFs will continue to “significantly erode domestic revenues, enable corruption, threaten economic stability and sustainable development, divert money from public priorities and hamper Government’s efforts to mobilize domestic resources and recover better.”

She, therefore, called for sustained cooperation between Africa and multilateral organisations to eradicate illicit financial flow, thereby enabling environmental, social, and economic development across the continent.

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