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Nigeria identifies 500 tax dodgers with homes abroad

The Nigerian government has compiled the list of 500 Nigerians, some of them prominent citizens who have homes abroad and who have been tax dodgers.

Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, informed the National Economic Council today that the list of about 500 Nigerians, who also have trusts abroad has been obtained to determine their tax compliance status at home.

She explained that such Nigerians can take advantage of the Voluntary Assets & Income Declaration Scheme, VAIDS, to settle past taxation defaults.

Letters would soon be going out to these Nigerians, including a number of prominent ones, asking them to take advantage of the tax amnesty in order to avoid prosecution and fines by simply paying up their tax defaults. The amnesty is available till March next year.

At the Council meeting which was chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, an Ad-Hoc Committee, a creation of the council, reported that a number of revenue-generating agencies may have significantly under-remitted returns to the Federation Account, from 2010 to 2015.

The Council had previously ordered the forensic audit to review remittances of the agencies covering 2010 to May 2015. While Council received an updated interim report today, a final report is awaited next month.

Council was also informed of questionable loans granted by some of the Revenue Generating Agencies.

Out of the 18 Agencies in which forensic audit was conducted, the Committee completed work on 13 Agencies, 2 are ongoing and 3 are not revenue generating.

The 13 agencies where the audit had been completed include: NIMASA, NNPC, NPA, FIRS, NPDC, DPR, etc.

The 2 outstanding agencies are the Customs Service and NCC.

The National Economic Council has directed the Committee to conclude its report under 4 weeks and fully report back to Council in the next meeting.

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