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Nigeria Could Be Losing Millions In Tax Dollars To Multinational Companies Operating Accounts In Tax Havens-ActionAid

Are Nigerians paying a high price for tax havens?

ActionAid research released on Tuesday shows that 98 of the FTSE 100 companies have subsidiaries located in tax havens.

ActionAid research released this Tuesday shows that 98 of the FTSE 100 companies have subsidiaries located in tax havens. While the convoluted financial dealings of firms in the City of London might seem a world away from the poor communities that ActionAid works with in Nigeria, the sad reality is that multinational companies that use tax havens could be costing Nigerians dearly.

New research shows that SABMiller, for example, has three subsidiary companies registered in Nigeria, compared with 108 in jurisdictions classed as tax havens. But this pales in significance compared with the use of tax havens by the big oil companies operating in the country.

Shell, with its massive interests in the Niger Delta, has 18 subsidiary companies located in Nigeria, but 455 in tax havens around the world. BP has six companies in Nigeria, but 537 registered in tax havens.

While this research does not prove tax avoidance in itself, multinationals need to explain why they have so many subsidiaries registered in tax havens. There are great challenges with getting accurate data on how much countries actually lose due to tax avoidance and the financial secrecy that tax havens create makes the task even more difficult. Despite this, it is suspected that the amounts lost would be enough to solve many of the country’s development challenges.

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