Accepted 5th July, 2019.
The African development question has a long pedigree and is a complex debate that no single scholar or author can effectively capture all the details in one breath. Situating the concept of development within the global context has generated a pocket of conferences, seminars, symposia, books, journals, articles, essays, etc; but the development question still remains with us, especially, people of the Third World countries. The dynamics of development in Nigeria in particular seems to be the most widely-debated topic among academics, researchers, policy-makers, activists, students, professionals, etc, not only in the country but also abroad and different factors have been noted to be responsible for the underdevelopment. While some scholars or authors look at the issue of development in Nigeria from the perspectives of factors such as imperialism or colonialism and neo-colonialism, others look at it from the perspective of factors such as wars and conflicts. This paper seeks to address the issue of development in Nigeria from the standpoint of the havoc which the existence of tax havens has wrecked on the economy so far. Tax havens are located in well-known locations worldwide and are not as hidden as they may seem to be. Tax haven countries offer foreign investors very low tax rates and other tax features designed to attract investment and thereby stimulate economic activity in their own country, but most times to the detriment of the investors’ countries. Rising volumes of international investment contribute to the growing importance of tax havens, which in turn has exposed tax havens’ activities to greater scrutiny and has prompted a number of policy responses in higher-tax countries, this is not to mention the fact that the Third World countries are equally frowning at the activities of these tax havens. Furthermore, the paper aims to examine how much of Nigeria’s assets and wealth which could have been used to develop the nation to an enviable standard are hidden away in these tax haven countries which may and may never be recovered. On a final note, the paper will examine the various means by which the existence of tax havens has stunted economic growth in Nigeria.
Keywords: Tax Havens, Development, Assets, Investment and Nigeria.