Every Kobo Of Nigeria’s Revenue Will Count – President Tinubu’s Revenue Adviser

*Pledges To Strengthen Fight Against IFFs

*IFFs, drain on Nigeria’s Revenue, Forex Reserves – ICPC Chairman

The administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will ensure that every kobo of the nation’s revenue counts, the Special Adviser to the President on Revenue, Zacch Adedeji, has disclosed.

He made this disclosure on Thursday in Abuja at the 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).

Adedeji stated that the President believed in fiscal discipline and would ensure judicious utilisation of the country’s revenue and resources.

He said, “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).

He noted that the IFFs had significantly eroded domestic revenues and hampered government’s efforts to mobilize 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, organized crimes, and corruption,” he added.

He emphasised that stemming illicit financial flows would address its negative impact on global development agenda as well as governance challenge.

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

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 ICPC’s sensitization 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 stated.

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 further assist, 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, the ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, OFR, noted that IFFs was a drain on Nigeria’s potential revenue accretion and foreign exchange reserves.

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

On the way out of IFFs trap, the ICPC boss called for diverse measures to tackle the menace in all its forms and in order to improve Nigeria’s quest for domestic revenue increase relative to the size of her 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.

Prof. Owasanoye explained that the sensitisation workshop was necessitated by the need to get the feedback of the private sector constituency on any possible challenges towards 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 Programme Director (Africa) of Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Mrs. Lola Adekanye, gave an overview of the published guidelines while the Chief Compliance Officer and Company Secretary of Oando Plc, Mrs. Ayotola Jagun outlined the private sector response to the guidelines.

The sensitisation workshop was attended by stakeholders and operators in the private sector such as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), and Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

Other private sector stakeholders that participated at the workshop include: the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Odu’a Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ODUA’CCIMA), Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), and members of the Inter-Agency Committee on Stopping IFFs from Nigeria.

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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