Nigeria has again called on the United Nations (UN) and the international tax community to forge an inclusive, equitable, fair and universally beneficial international tax system towards the attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, made the call while delivering Nigeria’s Statement at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Special Meeting on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, on Friday, at the ECOSOC Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York.
Nami was also quoted in a statement as expressing Nigeria’s concern about the global minimum tax as put forward by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – Inclusive Framework, because of its low rate and the way it was negotiated to benefit the home countries of multinationals.
He explained that such concerns arise from the framework’s “low rate and the way it was negotiated to benefit the home countries of multinationals, which are mostly in developed countries.”
He also urged the meeting to discuss how “a UN instrument on tax cooperation can both build on work that has already been done in a way that guarantees fairness and equity.”
He said that Nigeria looks forward to views on “enforcement mechanisms for a binding multilateral tax convention, noting the challenges that developing and developed countries have experienced with investment treaty arbitration.”
Nami, in the country’s statement noted that the capacity of countries to attain the 2030 SDGs is hinged on having the requisite funding “in delivering critical public services”.
Today, a global taxation regime under the UN is urgently needed to enable States to effectively mobilize domestic revenues to address the multiple economic and other crises impacting our efforts in the achievement of the 2030 SDGs.
Domestic resource mobilization
Nigeria, while calling for a global taxation regime under the UN, Nami harped on the importance of enhancing domestic resource mobilization among member States to address their economic challenges.
“The promotion of inclusive International Tax Cooperation remains a critical subject in the attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Today, a global taxation regime under the UN is urgently needed to enable States to effectively mobilize domestic revenues to address the multiple economic and other crises impacting our efforts in the achievement of the 2030 SDGs.
“Domestic public resource mobilization is critical to this effort because of its vital role in delivering critical public services and advancing even progress towards the sustainable development agenda.
“Developing countries are taking seriously the challenge of financing sustainable development. My delegation underscores the importance of enhancing domestic resource mobilization, good governance and investment in our common African goal embodied in the Agenda 2063, and in the global goals spelled out in the 2030 Agenda,” he said.
He further commended African countries for strengthening their participation in international tax cooperation efforts, as well as the strides they have made “in closing loopholes and countering base erosion and profit shifting.”
He however expressed concerns that “while much good work has been done, much more remains to be made towards a fully inclusive process, both domestically and internationally and ensuring that all taxpayers are making their fair contributions.”
The UN ECOSOC Special Meeting on International Cooperation in Tax Matters is an annual meeting of member states, senior representatives of national tax authorities, relevant international organizations, civil society and academia that discuss issues of taxation as it affects the globe.