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FG mulls action on Panama Papers

The federal government has hinted of plans to act on the leaked Panama Papers scandal which revealed assets owned by some prominent Nigerians in tax…

The federal government has hinted of plans to act on the leaked Panama Papers scandal which revealed assets owned by some prominent Nigerians in tax havens. Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, gave this indication when he delivered a keynote address at the 8thWole Soyinka Centre for Media Lecture Series held in Lagos on Thursday.
“The FIRS is putting machinery in place to take advantage of the Panama papers exposed and will soon come out with an action in that regard,” said Fowler who was represented by FIRS’ Head of Communication and Servicom, Wahab Badamosi.
The Panama Papers leaked sensitive documents detailing how prominent people across the world hid money using phony firms.
Fowler’s comment came on the heels of concerns by many that like the Halliburton and Siemens scandals, Nigerians named in the Panama Papers will not be investigated based on past events.
The 11.5 million documents, held by Panama-based Mossack Fonseca, were released to Süddeutsche Zeitung, a German newspaper, and an International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
The Panamanian law firm, regarded as one of the world’s most secretive companies, according to the documents, has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade tax.
Fowler said the FIRS added 700 new tax payers to its data base in 10 months.
Fowler argued that without sustainable revenue, the whole business of nation building would amount to wishful thinking and said the FIRS collected a total of N22 trillion as taxes between 2011 and 2015.

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