House of Representatives yesterday said it would investigate the tax incentives/waivers granted to multi-national corporations in the country.
It, therefore, mandated its Committee on Finance and Public Accounts to probe the incentives currently being granted to these multi-national corporations with a view to reducing them and abolishing unproductive incentives.
The resolution followed a motion on ‘Urgent Need to Investigate the Tax Incentives/Waivers Granted to Multi-National Corporations’ sponsored by Hon. Kehinde Odeneye.
In his lead debate, Odeneye observed that Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, plays a critical role in an economy, adding that it remained a source of foreign exchange, inflow of technology, skills and management expertise.
The lawmaker said Japan and South Korea were two well-known examples of countries that thrived from obtaining FDI in the aftermath of war.
He noted that Nigeria recognised the value of FDI as a driver of economic growth and development, as a result of which various investment laws and regulations had been put in place to attract the inflow of FDI into the country.
Odeneye recalled that in the 2014, Ernest and Young Africa Attractiveness Survey, Nigeria, was ranked as one of Africa’s top investment destinations and the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council also reported in October 2015 that Nigeria receives an average of $6 billion in FDI annually.
The lawmaker said that Nigerian government had actively wooed foreign investors through a plethora of incentive policies and regulatory framework to promote FDI.
He expressed concern that Nigeria is foregoing about $2.9 billion a year in form of tax incentives currently being used as a substitute for policies that could genuinely attract more and better investments.
Odeneye said he was worried that tax incentives were given to companies in the hope that foreign investors would bring in capital to support economic development and create employment, but that there had been little evidence that tax incentives could increase investments.
The committee was given one month to report back to the House.


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