At least 156 companies have forged tax certificates to bid for government contracts in Nigeria, according to the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
It follows a preliminary investigation by the ICPC and trebles the number of firms initially suspected of fraudulent activity. Last month, the Bureau of Public Procurement reported 50 companies to the ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Folu Olamiti, spokesman for the ICPC, said: “Preliminary investigations indicate about 156 of these companies may face prosecution for using fake tax clearance certificates.”
The ICPC advised tax authorities to learn good practices from states that have tamper-proof tax certificates.
“They should create electronic platforms to synchronise with the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System and automate the issuance of tax clearance certificates annually to public service employees so as to reduce the incidence of illegally acquiring certificates from easier sources,” the commission said.
The ICPC has not revealed the names of firms involved.