Graft: Nigeria Identifies Almost N8trn in Unpaid VAT, Withholding Tax

Nigerian government on Thursday announced that the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit has identified about N8trn in unpaid Value Added Tax (VAT) and Withholding Tax.

Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed disclosed this on Thursday at the Press Conference held to put disclose the government’s efforts and current results in the fight against corruption.

Mohammed disclosed figures of their recovered corruption proceeds and revealed that Nigeria has identified a humongous amount in unpaid taxes by in the country.

“Also, from its analysis of tax evasion and tax avoidance linked to corruption, NFIU has identified N3,909,707,678,112.43 in VAT and N3,737,918,335,785.82 in Withholding Tax due to the Government. NFIU has also sent 1,165 intelligence reports on cases of corruption, money laundering and other serious offences to 27 domestic agencies for investigation, prosecution and asset recovery,” the Minister said.

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The taxes yet to be recovered by the Nigerian government amount to about half of its N17.1trn 2022 budget.

He also revealed details gotten by the NFIU on financiers and supporters of terrorism in the country.

“On terrorism financing, NFIU had intelligence exchanges on Boko Haram, ISWAP, banditry, kidnapping and others with 19 countries. During the same period, 2020-2021, the organization returned fraudulently-obtained funds totalling US$103,722,102.83, 3,000 pound sterling; 7,695 Singapore dollar, and 1,091 euros to 11 countries of victims who came into the country.”

96 Financiers of Terrorism

While Mohammed failed to mention any name, he said the government has identified financiers of terrorism and their supporters. He also added that the Nigerian government has found some 26 terrorists and will soon prosecute them.

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“For its part, the analysis by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), in 2020-2021, revealed 96 financiers of terrorism in Nigeria, 424 associates/supporters of the financiers, involvement of about 123 companies and 33 bureaux de change, in addition to identifying 26 suspected bandits/kidnappers and 7 co-conspirators. The analysis has resulted in the arrest of 45 suspects who will soon face prosecution and seizure of assets.”

Mohammed boasted that the current administration will make corruption “unattractive and costly” and called for support from Nigerians to defeat the “monster” that impedes investment in the country.

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