Every kobo of Nigeria’s revenue will count —Tinubu’s Aide

Every kobo of Nigeria’s revenue will count —Tinubu’s Aide

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The Special Adviser on Revenue to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Zacch Adedeji, on Thursday, declared that the administration would ensure that every kobo of Nigeria’s revenue counts.

 

The President’s aide made the declaration in Abuja at a one-day hybrid sensitisation workshop on the published “Guidelines for Private Sector Response to Illicit Financial Flow (IFF) Vulnerabilities in Nigeria” organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

 

A release made available to Tribune Online by ICPC spokesperson Azuka Ogugua informed that Adedeji said President Tinubu believed in fiscal discipline and would ensure judicious utilisation of the country’s revenue and resources.

 

According to him, “The President believes in fiscal discipline, which rests on the accurate prediction of revenue. If the government can’t count your money, the government can’t allocate it, and if the government can’t allocate it, it can’t manage it. The administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will make every kobo of our revenue count.”

 

Earlier in his keynote address at the sensitisation workshop, the special adviser pledged that the government would strengthen the country’s fight against illicit financial flows (IFFs).

 

Adedeji asserted that IFFs had significantly eroded domestic revenues and hampered the government’s efforts to mobilise resources, thereby threatening economic stability and sustainable development.

 

“In Nigeria and across the African continent, we continue to suffer various forms of IFFs, including tax evasion and other harmful tax practices, the illegal export of foreign exchange, abusive transfer pricing, trade mispricing, mis-invoicing of services, illegal exploitation and under-invoicing of natural resources, organised crimes and corruption,” he added.

 

Stemming illicit financial flows, according to Adedeji, would address its negative impact on the global development agenda as well as the governance challenge.

 

The special adviser commended ICPC chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye SAN, for the successes recorded so far by the anti-corruption agency in the fight against IFFs.

 

He submitted that the successes had yielded great results as Nigeria had plugged identified leakages and loopholes that enable IFFs by the relevant circulars issued by the Federal Government.

 

According to him, “Some level of progress and successes have so far been recorded in the fight against IFFs through the concerted efforts of the IPCC’s sensitisation and capacity building of major players in the various sectors of the economy as well as citizenry on the menace of IFFs.

 

“These efforts have yielded great results and benefits as the nation through these robust engagements has plugged identified leakages/loopholes that enable IFFs by the relevant circulars issued by the Federal Government.”

 

He advised the private sector stakeholders and operators at the sensitisation workshop to key into the government’s efforts to tackle IFFs.

 

“The published guidelines will set a new trajectory in the fight against IFFs in the private sector, thereby putting Nigeria at the forefront of African countries to achieve this great feat.

 

“The purpose of the published guidelines is to assist further, guide and strengthen the private sector operators in curbing IFFs. The aim of this publication is to set the path for more interventions in the fight against IFFs and IFF-related activities,” Adedeji said.

 

In his welcome remarks, ICPC chairman, Prof Owasanoye, noted that IFFs were a drain on Nigeria’s potential revenue accretion and foreign exchange reserves.

 

This, according to him, had resulted in exchange rate depreciation, inflation, and an increase in the cost of servicing external debts in addition to negatively impacting the cost of imported goods like petroleum with its attendant radical consequences on the daily livelihood experience of ordinary citizens.

 

The ICPC boss then called for diverse measures to tackle the menace in all its forms with a view to improving Nigeria’s quest for domestic revenue increase relative to the size of its economy and in spite of the volatile global economic and financial system.

 

He assured that the commission would continue to focus attention on practical measures to enhance Nigeria’s ability to stem IFFs, reduce capital flight and enhance the country’s capacity for domestic resource mobilisation by identifying vulnerabilities and other weaknesses in the systems and processes of agencies and institutions within the public and private sector and advising reforms to mitigate losses.

 

According to Owasanoye, the sensitisation workshop was necessitated by the need to get the feedback of the private sector constituency on any possible challenges towards the implementation of the recommendations in the guidelines.

 

He added that a similar platform would be created for public officers and other stakeholders to ventilate the Guidelines for Negotiation of Contracts and Agreements.

 

The “Guidelines for Private Sector Response to IFF Vulnerabilities in Nigeria” is published by the ICPC, and it seeks to enable private sector practitioners better understand the phenomenon of IFFs and provides guidance to them on what to look out for and avoid in the course of their business transactions.

 

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