Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), and members of the Tax Justice and Governance Platform in Nigeria has expressed worrisome that Nigeria has again scored below expectation on the Financial Secrecy Index 2020.
In the 2020 global Financial Secrecy Index released at 18:00 on Tuesday, Nigeria was ranked 33 out of 133 jurisdictions with a secrecy score of 70.
This was stated in a joint press release issued on Tuesday and signed by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC),Tax Justice Governance Platform, OXFAM in Nigeria,Action Aid,Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC),Christian Aid and the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).
According to the statement, the Financial Secrecy Index ranks jurisdictions according to their secrecy and the scale of their offshore financial activities.
The group said indicators such as legal entity transparency and integrity of tax and financial regulation are the worse hit from the analysis, followed closely by ownership registration; with international standards and cooperation with most improvement.
They further said a politically neutral ranking, it is a tool for understanding global financial secrecy, tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions, and illicit financial flows or capital flight.
According to the release , Africa remains on the spotlight due to illicit financial flows such as corruption, money laundering tax evasion and avoidance, amongst other financial crimes.
“It is estimated that Sub-Saharan African countries lost over $1trillion in capital flight between the 1970s and 2010; and recently, the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) estimated that Nigeria loses $15-16bn annually to illicit financial flows.
“In 2018, the Financial Secrecy Index placed Kenya among the top 30 countries with high secrecy by ranking 27% out of 100 and a secrecy score of 80.
“Angola took the spot in the 2019 index as the most secretive jurisdiction with a high score of 80 while Ghana scored 52 as the least secretive jurisdiction on the continent.
“Nigeria is the largest economy on the African continent with approximately 200 million people.