President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has advocated a review of global taxation, explaining that redressing the imbalance in the international tax regime has become imperative.
The Nigerian President also affirmed the country’s belief in and commitment towards multilateralism as a way of addressing global challenges.
President Tinubu stated Nigeria’s position on these issues in a speech at the Third South Summit of the Group of 77 and China which opened on Sunday, 21 January, 2024, in Kampala, Uganda.
He said the issue of global taxation is pressing because it impacts developing countries.
“The current international tax systems, largely shaped by the interests of more affluent nations, often leave developing countries at a disadvantage, especially in taxing digital economies. This systemic imbalance has led to significant revenue losses, hampering our efforts towards sustainable development and economic self-reliance,” he pointed out.
In response to this, Nigeria, alongside other Member States of the African Group championed a historic initiative at the United Nations calling for a Framework Convention on Tax.
This resolution, according to him, marks a pivotal step towards establishing a more equitable and inclusive global tax system.
President Tinubu was represented at the summit with the theme “Leaving No One Behind” by the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu.
The summit is being attended by many heads of state and government as well as heads of international organizations including United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Expressing Nigeria’s appreciation to all the countries that supported the global tax review initiative, President Tinubu said their solidarity reflects “our shared commitment to rectifying the inequities of the current tax system and fostering a more just economic order.”
Also in reaffirming Nigeria’s commitment to South-South economic collaboration, the President spoke of the critical role of the Action Committee on Raw Materials (ACRM) of the G-77, established in 1987 for enhancing cooperation in the development and processing of raw materials.
While acknowledging the importance of comprehensive data on raw material availability and location, President Tinubu advocated the revival of the ACRM.
“This is crucial for coordinated information dissemination, facilitating access for international entrepreneurs and joint venture partners and addressing challenges in raw material development that hinder industrialization and economic growth,” he said.
The resuscitation of the ACRM, with a focus on data-driven strategies and information systems, is imperative to improving trade terms, foster economic self-reliance and enhance resilience among developing countries, he pointed out.
President Tinubu also restated, at the summit, Nigeria’s earlier position on Israel’s attack of Palestine over Gaza, saying the recent developments in the State of Palestine demand our immediate attention and action.
“Nigeria aligns itself with the international community’s call for an immediate ceasefire and a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
“Upholding our commitment to the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the promotion of peace and security, we firmly support a two-state solution as the path forward in this protracted conflict,” he said.
The President spoke against any form of indiscriminate violence, emphasizing the urgent need to address humanitarian concerns, ensuring the protection and dignity of all civilians affected by this crisis.
“As a member of this Group, Nigeria remains dedicated to advocating peaceful solutions in global conflict zones, reflecting our commitment to the stability and prosperity of the African continent and the global community.”
Drawing the attention of the summit to the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the Nigerian leader spoke of Group of 77’s enduring commitment to fostering a world where no one is left behind – where every individual has an equal opportunity to thrive.
This year’s Summit and its theme resonate with the aspirations and principles of G77.
“It seeks our collective commitment to building an influential force that champions international peace and security; protects the rights and dignity of our citizens; and fosters cooperation in the spirit of South-South collaboration,” the President said.
He added: “Considering the interconnected nature of our world, we need a concerted action to tackle issues of climate change, eco-disparities, environmental concerns and technological programs in this post-pandemic era.
“Similarly, emerging global challenges, such as the digital divide, cybersecurity, illicit financial flows, terrorism and corruption, are interconnected threats that undermine our socio-economic stability and require a united approach by this assembly.
“With illicit financial flows alone estimated to siphon off billions of dollars annually from economies, especially in the Global South, the urgency for early action has never been greater,” he said.
President Tinubu pointed out that Nigeria recognizes the urgency to combat these challenges, particularly illicit financial flows.
“We advocate enhanced international cooperation, stronger regulatory frameworks and a robust collaborative approach.
“By uniting our efforts and sharing best practices, we can promote transparency, accountability and a more secure, prosperous future for all G77 and China member states.”
Reflecting on these global challenges, he said Nigeria acknowledges the multifaceted nature of the issues we face. “Our focus remains steadfast on rebuilding our economies, fortifying healthcare systems and securing sustainable livelihoods for our citizens.”
President Tinubu also spoke of the importance of technical cooperation and capacity building in addressing current global challenges.
“As a country, We have been actively engaged through the Directorate of Technical Aid Corps (DTAC) in fostering international cooperation in the spirit of South South Collaboration.
“DTAC, as a key instrument of Nigeria’s foreign policy, facilitates the exchange of expertise and knowledge with 38 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, dispatching over 30,000 skilled professionals since its inception in 1987.
“These efforts enhance our collective ability to fortify health and educational system and secure sustainable livelihood for our citizens.
“In addition to DTAC’s contributions, Nigeria’s commitment to enhancing South-South cooperation is further demonstrated through our establishment of the Directorate for Technical Cooperation in Africa (DTCA), he added.
DTCA plays a crucial role in fostering collaboration and economic development across the African continent.
By leveraging the strengths of DTCA, the President said Nigeria aims to deepen ties with fellow African nations, sharing resources and expertise to promote mutual growth and development.
Similarly, in her commitment to South-South collaboration, Nigeria also emphasizes the significance of Triangular cooperation.
“This partnership model, involving developing countries, developed nations and international organizations, offers a comprehensive approach to address global challenges.
“Such cooperation enriches Nigeria’s strategies for sustainable development, ensuring inclusivity and maximizing the impact of our collective efforts,” President Tinubu submitted.
While reaffirming Nigeria’s commitment towards multi-lateralism and the objectives of the Bandung principles, the President concluded, saying as G77 looks towards the future, the organization should envision a movement that is responsive to the needs and aspirations of Member States.