The Nigerian government says it has developed a tax regularization programme as part of efforts to encourage Nigerians with offshore assets to voluntarily return them back to the country and have such assets regularized.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami announced this at the unveiling ceremony of the Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularization Scheme, VOARS, in Abuja, Nigeria.
Mr. Malami stated that VOARS was initiated by a Swiss Consortium to facilitate the regularization of offshore funds and assets owned by Nigerians to declare them voluntarily.
He also said that the Nigeria Infrastructure Fund was aimed at encouraging Nigerians with offshore assets holdings, to invest in infrastructure to increase Nigeria’s tax base.
“When the funds are voluntarily declared by the owners, the Nigerian government will deduct 35 percent recoveries, while two and a half percent will be charged as administrative fees for the purpose of accessing the funds,” Malami said.
The Minister of Finance in Nigeria, Zainab Ahmed, said that through the scheme, the culture of accountability and honesty in citizens to fully declare any income and assets owned, would begin to grow.
“ It will encourage more Nigerians to come forward to declare without any threat of interrogation or prosecution,” she said.