The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has revealed that Nigeria has lost about ₦5.4 trillion between 2007 and 2017 through tax evasion by multinational companies operating in Nigeria.
Speaking at a Workshop on “Effective Audit of Multinational Corporations for Domestic Revenue Mobilisation in Nigeria,” organized by the Service in conjunction with the Tax Justice Network, FIRS Director Muhammad Nami, through Director, Communications and Liaison Department of the FIRS Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, on Monday said that, “between 2007 and 2017” Nigeria was reported to have lost over US$178 billion (about N5.4 trillion at today’s rate) through tax evasion by Multinationals” doing business in the country.
By this statement, Nami validates Dr. George Uboh’s petition against the Agency, regarding Oil Companies and former FIRS boss Tunde Fowler that is pending before the 9th NASS.
Uboh had in a petition Numbered: 237 of 2020, alleged that a sum of $10B USD was evaded and diverted by Multinational Oil Companies operating in Nigeria, in collusion with the FIRS, Tunde Fowler and Aniko Emmanuel
In May 2020, Dr. George Uboh, Chairman George Uboh whistleblowers Network (GUWN), met with the FIRS Boss Muhammad Nami and tabled the allegations, Nami was receptive, but could not engage Uboh enough in his quest to recover the funds, stating that FIRS does not receive Cost of Collection on oil related tax revenue.
Earlier in March, 2020, Uboh met with the erstwhile FIRS BossTunde Fowler at his Maitama, Abuja residence during which time Uboh showed Fowler evidence of over $10 Billion USD tax evasion fraud perpetrated by oil companies to which Fowler responded that the evidence was correct, adding that Shell alone evaded over $8 Billion USD, but that the late Abba Kyari, the chief of staff to the President Buhari, while alive, asked him (Fowler) to stagger Shell’s tax payment within 10yrs.
Uboh countered, that such verbal directive from Kyari contradicts the then-trending query from same Kyari to Fowler for under remittance of tax revenue.
Uboh pointed that by Kyari instructing him(Fowler)to stagger Shell’s payment would amount to asking Fowler to engage in same activity that Kyari premised the query, hence such action would be tantamount to approbating and reprobatimg.
Thereafter, Uboh petitioned FIRS, Tunde Fowler and Aniko Emmamuel to the house committee on public petition.
The hearing was held on December 9, 2020 during which FIRS denied Uboh’s allegations.
A month after, the FIRS boss Nami by this utterance at the workshop has vindicate and validated Dr. George Uboh allegation against the Agency and its former boss Fowler.
Dr. Uboh in a statement, thanked Nami for his gutsiness, patriotism and willingness to not betray his oath of office. He also urged Nami to “take on FIRS staff who “aid and abet” these errant oil companies In evading taxes by cooking their books through understating of revenue and overstating of expenses, among other schemes and modus operandi.” Uboh said.