The deal, which involved global bodies, including the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank Group, would run on high-level collaborations with Nigeria and other African countries to stop Illicit Financial Flows (IFF).
At the Platform for Collaboration on Tax (PCT) conference held at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the Head of OECD Global Forum on Exchange of Information, Ms. Monica Bhatia, stated that automatic information sharing had been adopted as part of proactive steps to curtail the menace from the continent to developed countries.
“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) specifically says that we must significantly reduce illicit financial flows by the year 2030. A lot of efforts are ongoing to achieve this and support developing countries to end IFFs,” she said.
“Developing countries, including Nigeria, collect significantly lower levels of tax, as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), than wealthier states. This is partly because the income and wealth being created, is taken out of the country illegally, without being taxed,” she said.
However, she reaffirmed the engagement of a leading international Asset Tracing and Investigation Agency (Kroll), by the government to track illicit flows and assets of some Nigerians.
Calling for more responsibility on the part of the destination countries of illicit financial flows, she urged that beneficial ownership registers should be established to allow authorities track money in financial investigations involving suspect accounts/assets held by corporate vehicles.
She also called for the elimination of safe havens that provide incentives for transfer of stolen assets and illicit financial flows abroad, and also the development of a supportive, efficient and speedy process for returning assets to originating countries.