Nigerian govt approves $500 million Eurobond

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun

The Federal Executive Council, FEC, Wednesday, approved $500 million Eurobond from the international capital market to fund the 2017 Budget.

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, told reporters that the next steps in relation to the issuance will be released later.

The Senate had last week approved the request of President Buhari to raise additional $500 million Eurobond from the international capital market to fund the 2017 budget.

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who
acted on behalf of the President, had on March 15 written to the Senate to approve the amount to fund the deficit.

“The senate may wish to note that the proceeds of the Euro Bond are to be used as funding sources to finance the budget deficit, including capital expenditure projects as specified in the 2016 Appropriation Act,’’ Mr. Osinbajo had stated.

The Council, also on Wednesday, 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.

Mrs. Adeosun said this is 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.

In 2016, the Nigerian government said it lost billions of dollars to tax evasion and avoidance by multinational companies.

Mrs. Adeosun added that 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.

The Minister said, “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,” she said.

She added that the Auditor General has also been directed to ensure that payments are not made to those who default on 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.

Meanwhile, the minister also said the Council 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.

Through the forum, said the minister, there will be better information sharing and cooperation between countries within west Africa on tax administration, 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,” she said.


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