ILO, ITUC-Africa call for strong legislation on tax-justice, illicit financial flow – Tribune NewsPaper

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ILO, ITUC-Africa call for strong legislation on tax-justice, illicit financial flow
Dennis Zulu and Joel Odigie

THE International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Trade Union Congress (ITUC)-Africa, have advocated strong legislation on tax-justice and illicit financial flow out of Nigeria and other African countries.

The Country Director of ILO in Nigeria, Dennis Zulu and the Coordinator, Human and Trade Union Rights ITUC-Africa, Comrade Joel Odigie, who made a case for strong legislation attributed illicit financial flow to big business who avoid to pay taxes.

According to Zulu: “The significant proportion of financial outflow from the continent is attributed to big businesses who avoid taxes and take these monies out of the continent.

“Following the Thabo Mbeki panel report which outlined the different initiatives that can stop the bleeding, it is very important therefore that we educate our young workers through the NLC so that they can understand what is really involved and the opportunity cost  of this illicit financial flow.

“It is very clear that if people don’t pay the tax that is due to the big businesses, then there is serious cost in term of the lost social facilities and amenities to be built, using the tax revenue accrued to the country.”

The ILO country representative pointed out that this was very common in countries, such as African countries who depend on exports from the developed countries.

He regretted that African countries do not have capacity in terms of taxation, and with weak legislation that regulate tax environment, “it is very easy for the big businesses with the world’s well-paid lawyers and accountants to sit and be able to navigate and avoid paying  taxes.”

He added, “So it is important to educate our young workers so that they can be in the forefront, through having the prerequisite knowledge to be able to advocate or lobby government to stop the bleeding of financial resources out of the continent.

“For Nigerians, a significant proportion of the illicit outflow is attributed to corruption; and for us, the development partners, it is gratifying to know that the new government has taken serious measure to curtail the outflow of financial resources from Nigeria.”

Also, Comrade Joel, the ITUC-Africa representative said: “We are talking about decent work and tax justice. In other words, we are saying how can we use the youth to stop the bleeding, halting illicit financial flows and advance decent work?”

“At the heart of decent work is the question of youths unemployment and if that is the case, the youths themselves should be the drivers of the process of halting the illicit flow.

“So the whole idea by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-AFRICA) is to get young workers to come together to seeks ways to gain knowledge on this issue, most importantly to get them into the continent wide campaign of halting illicit financial flow.

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