Tax evasion: Nigeria’s Finance Minister wants Global Partnership to help cut Africa’s losses

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Africa is believed to lose $50 billion through tax evasion

 

Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Thursday asked Global Partnership to be an agent of development co-operation in Africa by helping developing countries cut down on revenue losses through illicit financial flows and massive tax evasion.

The Minister, who is the Co-chair of the partnership, was speaking at the opening of the Global Partnership event for Effective Co-operation, to help finalise the agenda and details towards the First High Level meeting of the partnership in April in Mexico City.

The other co-chairs include Minister for National Development Planning, Indonesia, Armida Alisjahbana, and the Secretary of State for International Development, United Kingdom, Justine Greening.

“This is what my continent is so keen about. The Global Partnership has a key role to play in helping developing countries, especially African countries, boost domestic resources and collect more taxes to fund their own development”, Mrs. Okonjo-Iwealastated.

The Minister, who is also the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, said through work on improving Nigeria’s tax administration, government revenue collection capacity had increased by about five times more than what it used to be 10 years ago.

A high level panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa led by former South-African President, Thabo Mbeki, said Africa as a whole loses around $50 billion (N8.1 trillion) a year through tax evasion, undeclared business and corruption.

“Resources flow out of Africa but they end up somewhere else,” Mr. Mbeki said recently in Paris.

Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said boosting domestic resource mobilisation and cutting illicit financial flows in developing economies would be some of the key topics slated for discussion at the Mexico meeting.

Participants would review the global progress in implementing commitments on effective development co-operation in middle-income countries, the role of business in development, co-operation with and by other Southern countries.

“The Mexico meeting also marks a major opportunity for global development leaders to show how the Global Partnership provides a key forum to support the implementation of new global development goals post-2015,” Mrs.  Okonjo-Iweala said.

The Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, and the global anti-poverty targets agreed in 2000 would expire in 2015, with ongoing debates and negotiations on a framework for a replacement by 2030.

The Global Partnership is an organization that helps developing nations, businesses, and organizations work better together to end poverty.

The group brings governments, private companies, civil society and others together to ensure funding, time and knowledge produce maximum impact for development.

The Global Partnership can help drive progress and support the implementation of the global development agenda that will follow the Millennium Development Goals target year of 2015. It is a forum for advice, shared accountability and shared learning and experiences to support the implementation of principles that form the foundation of effective development co-operation.

 


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