Sierra Leone lost an annual average of US$200 million from 2010-2012 to African Minerals and London Mining Company, both engaged in mining iron ore with contracts up to 100 years, reports said.
Sierra Leone’s National Revenue Authority said in report on Wednesday tied the loss to tax concessions in the form of custom and duty waivers, corporate income tax and domestic tax waivers granted the two foreign miners.
In 2011, Sierra Leone spent more on tax giveaways than on its development priorities, with mining firms the biggest beneficiaries, the 28-page report indicated.
The following year, the tax exemptions amounted to more than eight times Sierra Leone’s health budget and seven times its education budget.
One of Sierra Leone’s Budget Advocacy Network coordinator Abu Bakarr Kamara, questions both the size of the exemptions and the way contracts have been awarded.
If tax expenditure continues in its present trend, it is likely that Sierra Leone will lose more than $240m a year from tax incentives in the coming years, the report said.
The report is based on a research done by Budget Advocacy Network (BAN), the National Advocacy Coalition on Extractives (NACE), Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA), ActionAid and IBIS.
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