Adeosun speaks on Abacha’s loot, says Jonathan’s govt left empty treasury for Buhari

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Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has lamented that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari inherited an empty treasury from the Jonathan government.

She also said Nigeria is the biggest loser of the 50 billion dollars illicit financial flows out of Africa annually.
Adeosun spoke at a tax conference organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development at the UN Headquarters in New York.

She said Nigeria had one of the lowest tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio in the world at just six per cent.

She regretted that Nigeria also suffered from tax avoidance and evasion, saying Nigeria has no tax laws as the tax laws are poor and weak.

The minister said the nine months of amnesty given to tax defaulters through the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme to regularise their tax information would lapse in March 2018.
According to her, some foreign countries, including the UK, have commenced with Nigeria the Automatic Exchange of Tax Information.

She, however, lamented over the frustrations the Nigerian Government encountered in getting illicit funds stashed abroad repatriated to the country.

“On the part of the destination countries, the simple that we have from the developing nations perspective is: ‘why do they not ask questions when the money is coming in?

“And yet when we turn up and say this money was stolen, then they give you an entire questionnaire. We’ve battling with the Swiss on Abacha.
“Abacha loot sat in the Swiss Bank account, 320 million dollars, for 22 years. We’ve been battling through the courts and we still have more recent cases.”

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