For Nigeria and other African countries to benefit from international tax initiatives, they need to collaborate with the rest of the world. This is according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Speaking at the opening session of a panel at the ongoing Africa CEO Forum held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Osinbajo said there was an utmost need for collaboration between Africa and the rest of the world, adding that caution must be considered when it comes to economic sovereignty.
“I think that we have to be a bit more careful with the concept of economic sovereignty because we really need to collaborate more and with the way that development is going, we need to watch some of these things.
“For instance, if we look at the way that technology is going which is key for us in Nigeria, particularly issues of taxation of tech companies and all of that, it is evident that this is difficult and it is a major expression of sovereign power – the power to tax.
“The way that the world and technology are structured today, there is no way that you can use the same basis – personal and territorial basis for taxation. These are multinational enterprises that spread across countries and continents.
“We have got to cooperate with the world and the international tax system to ensure that we are able to derive maximum benefit. We have got to take a seat at the table and ensure that all of the various initiatives on international taxation favour us in Africa.
“While we are looking inwards, we have to be very careful to look outwards as well because a lot of money is obviously used by tech companies across the world and a lot of our countries are value creators for these companies.
“There is a great need for us to look inwards and at the same time keep our eyes on the ball because we need to recognize that the world has gone beyond brick and mortar. The world is now more about intellectual capital. We have to think of how we can work with the world to achieve maximum benefit for our intellectual capacity,” a statement quoted the Vice President as saying as he emphasised on the importance of collaboration.