…Issues new directive on tax reforms
From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the $500 million Eurobond from the international capital market to fund the 2016 budget.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who briefed State House Correspondents alongside the Ministers of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and Interior, Abdurahman Dambazzau, said that the next steps in relation to the issuance will be released later in the day.
The Senate had last Wednesday, approved the request of President Buhari to raise additional $500 million Eurobond from the international capital market to fund the 2016 budget.
Council also issued as part of its ongoing tax reforms, a directive to contractors and those doing business with the government to ensure that names of company directors and registered offices are listed on their letter headed papers going forward.
Adeosun said this was to ensure that tax authorities are able to trace and collect the requisite taxes from establishments transacting business with Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of government.
The Federal Government had last year announced that it had lost about $1 trillion to tax evasion and avoidance by multinational companies.
To this end she said the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) has been directed to issue a memo to all MDA’s reminding them to comply with the law which is already existing, adding that the Auditor General has also been directed to ensure that payments are not made to those who default on the law.
“FEC gave a directive to the SGF to remind companies that there is an existing provision in the law that companies are supposed to have on their letter headed papers the names of their directors and their registered offices but what we have seen is that many bodies that are transacting business with government simply have the names of the company and no details of who the directors are.
“So for tax purposes, it is quite difficult to trace them, so the SGF will be issuing a circular reminding agencies and ministries of government that it is the law and therefore they are at liberty not to treat any document that doesn’t comply with the law.
“And equally the Accountant General has been advised that payment will only be effected to companies that are fully in compliance with the law just to make sure that all those who are doing business with government and making from the government are paying the right taxes,” she said.
The finance said council also approved the ratification for the establishment of the West African Tax Administration forum which is a platform to promote mutual agreement and cooperation among West African tax authorities.
The effect of the forum which is being hosted by Nigeria is that there will be better information sharing and cooperation between countries within west Africa on tax aministration, the minister said adding that this is really part of the country’s tax reform efforts.
“As you know Nigerians own properties in Ghana and other neighbouring countries, now for tax purposes they will be able to have access to that type of information”.
Council also gave approval for the procurement of 15 water carrying vehicles for the Federal Fire Service at the cost of N403 million out its 2016 budget.
According to the interior minister “this is in an attempt to further revamp the federal fire service which has experienced a dearth of equipment for a very long time and that with the challenges we have in terms of fire incidents all over the country”.
He said the N403 million is part of what was approved for 2016 budget. The total budget for fire fighting equipment in is N5.5 billion
Currently there are only two fire fighting trucks functioning in FCT.