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Oxfam tasks NASS on corporate finance regulation

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THE National Assembly has been urged by a global finance watch dog, Oxfam, to expedite action on legislation that stem the tide of financial recklessness in public finance institutions.

The call was made in Abuja yesterday by Country Director of Oxfam in Nigeria, Constant Tchona, while unveiling the body’s reports on Fair Tax Monitor Index and the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index.

According to him, only federal enactments criminalize indiscrete actions of banks, auditors, accountants and lawyers would stamp out illicit financial flows, even as enablers of tax evasion are meant to face fines of up to 100 percent of any tax evaded.

“The National assembly should enact a law that will criminalize totally the actions of middlemen – banks, auditors, accountants, and lawyers that facilitate Illicit Financial Flows. When such professionals act contrary to existing regulations, they should be held accountable in Nigeria. This can be enforced through strengthened professional association bodies.

There is need for the Nigerian government to fast-forward action on the new National Tax Policy approved and clamp down on corporate crimes. New legislation and rules to cope with current realities should be enacted along with introduction of cutting-edge technology.

The National Assembly should enact a law to punish the “enablers” of tax evasion such as lawyers, accountants and bankers, and should be made to face fines of up to 100 per cent of tax evaded.

The tax system should be reviewed and amended to be more equitable to women as drivers of SMEs; most especially Personal Income Tax Act on unorganized sector needs to be amended to ensure they achieve gender equity, legitimate, and consistent with the government’s commitment to gender equity,” Tchona said.

 

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