Nigeria, Africa risk losing $116b to pandemic by year end — FIRS boss

Chairman, African Tax Forum, Muhammad Mamman Nami says Nigeria and other countries within the continent of Africa may lose approximately $116billion to Covid-19 pandemic at the end of 2020.

Nami said this while delivering his opening remarks at the 4th ATAF High-Level Tax Policy Dialogue during a Zoom conference under the theme, Taxing Righst for Africa in the New World and Effects of Covid-19: The Role of Tax Policymakers and Tax Administrators.

Nami who also serves as the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), stated: “An analysis shows that Covid-19 will cost the region between $37 billion and $79 billion in output losses for 2020 due to a combination of effects. They include trade and value chain disruption, which impacts commodity exporters and countries with strong value chain participation; reduced foreign financing flows from remittances, tourism, foreign direct investment, foreign aid, combined with capital flight; and through direct impacts on health systems, and disruptions caused by containment measures and the public response.”

Nami referred to recently published policy brief by ATAF on the effects Covid-19 on customs revenue showed that “Estimates during the period February – April 2020, revealed that customs’ revenue was down by $109 billion, or $326 million per month, and this is a cautious estimate.”

Growth in sub-Saharan Africa, he further said, “Has been significantly impacted by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and is forecast to fall sharply from 2.4% in 2019 to -2.1 to -5.1% in 2020, the first recession in the region over the past 25 years, according to the latest Africa’s Pulse, the World Bank’s twice-yearly economic update for the region.”

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