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A list of 500 names of prominent Nigerians who are known tax evaders and have houses abroad has been compiled by the Federal Governor, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun has said.

What this means for names on the list

Mrs. Adeosun, while speaking to the National Economic Council, NEC,  on Thursday said that the list of about 500 Nigerians, who also have trusts abroad had been obtained to determine their tax compliance status at home.

She explained that such Nigerians can take advantage of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme, VAIDS, to settle past taxation defaults.

Leniency?

Mrs. Adeosun made it clear that Letters will soon be going out to these Nigerians, including a number of prominent ones, asking them to take advantage of the tax amnesty in order to avoid prosecution and fines by simply paying up their tax defaults. The amnesty is available till March next year.

Other loopholes in government

At the council meeting which was chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, an ad hoc committee, a creation of the council, reported that a number of revenue-generating agencies may have significantly under-remitted returns to the Federation Account, from 2010 to 2015.

The council had previously ordered the forensic audit to review remittances of the agencies covering 2010 to May 2015. While council received an updated interim report yesterday, a final report is awaited next month.

The council was also informed of questionable loans granted by some of the revenue generating agencies.

Out of the 18 agencies in which forensic audit was conducted, the committee completed work on 13 agencies, two are ongoing and 3 are not revenue generating.

The 13 agencies where the audit had been completed include: NIMASA, NNPC, NPA, FIRS, NPDC, DPR, among others.

The two outstanding agencies, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), are the Customs service and NCC.

The NEC has directed the committee to conclude its report under four weeks and fully report back to council in the next meeting.

Author: Yemi Olarinre