FEC Weekly Meeting Not Holding Today

The weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council is not holding today.

No official reason has been given for the cancellation of the meeting which usually holds every Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

A meeting of the National Security Council has, however, been fixed for 12 noon.

President Muhammadu Buhari presides over the FEC that has Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; all ministers and some presidential aides as members.

FEC Moved To Aisha Buhari’s Office

The meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) scheduled for today, November 22, will be held in the office of the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari.

This is due to some “technical issues” at the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, where the cabinet usually converges.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, has confirmed this development.

Ministers and other cabinet members have also been informed of the change of venue.

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to preside over the meeting which starts at 11am.

Sources also hinted that apart from the FEC meeting, all other official activities for today would hold at the Conference Room of the Office of the Wife of the President.

Nigeria to Close on Tax-Evading Multinationals

Nigeria approves ratification of convention on tax evasion
Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

Jun 14, 2017

Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the Council Chambers on Wednesday.

The Nigerian government has given approval for the ratification of a multi-lateral convention to implement tax-related treaties.

The approval was given at Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, said multinational companies operating in Nigeria engaged in the practice of evading taxes in Nigeria.

“One of the means by which major companies to evade tax is a practice called base erosion and profit shifting, which means profit made in Nigeria using accounting means, to shift it to a country that has little or no tax,” Adeosun said, explaining that the practice deprives Nigeria of revenue.

She said Nigeria was part of the negotiations among G-20 nations and the Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation, OECD, to end the practice.

The approval given by the Nigerian cabinet for the ratification of the conventions means that the country would re-negotiate some unfavourable existing bilateral treaties on tax.

“For example, we signed a tax treaty with a particular country, which says their national carrier would not pay tax in Nigeria and in exchange Nigeria’s national carrier would not pay tax in their country, but as you know, Nigeria has no national carrier,” Adeosun stated, pointing out that such a treaty was adverse to the country since it has no national carrier.

She said the approval for the ratification of the convention would give Nigeria the right to amend such treaties and opt out of “some of the things that we have already in previous governments that are not appropriate for Nigeria.”

Adeosun listed the benefits of the convention to include swift modification of “existing bilateral tax treaties to implement tax treaty related matters in a cost efficient manner instead of individual negotiation and amendment of the treaties.”

The convention, according to her, would also incorporate into existing treaties, provisions that would prevent the granting of tax treaty benefits in inappropriate circumstances.

“It will address tax treaty abuse, promote tax transparency and drastically curtail illicit financial flows and ultimately it would increase tax revenue of government,” she said.


Buhari Absent From The Weekly FEC Meeting – Lai Mohammed

President Muhammadu Buhari did not attend the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, because he was attending to “other issues”, Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, has said.

The meeting, which held inside the council chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday was presided by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo after Mr Buhari failed to turn up.

The absence of the president led to speculations that he has fallen ill again. The president recently spent almost two months in London on medical vacation.

Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Mr. Mohammed said, “Mr President is not ill again”.

The minister added that “Mr. President is in town; Mr. President is attending to other issues. He looked at the agenda for the meeting and decided that the vice president should preside. It is not unusual for the vice president to preside over FEC meetings”.

Nigeria Awards N126b Road Contracts

Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday approved the award of 12 road contracts to open up the country.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, announced this while briefing State House Press Corps at the end of the meeting.

He said the roads would be in Kano, Bauchi, Adamawa, Borno , Kwara, Gombe, Enugu and Kaduna States as well as bridges on Bauchi – Gombe road.

“The headline figures are in the region of about N126 billion. But I think that is not the story, the story really is what the contracts do to the economy.

“They restore confidence back to the construction industry.

“Contractors who have been owed for two or three years before Mr President was elected are back in various states.

“They recalled back their workers, they are purchasing quarry, gravel, cement, iron rods; the economy is on its way back to a mend.

“Every place in all of those states, once we mobilise the contractors the money is kept in those states.

“Most of the workers who drive the trucks, who fix the roads that you see add to the use of the roads.

“And so, they aggregate to the total output from each of those states to the national productivity and our national recovery.

“What you then would see is improved journey time which was what we promised you.’’

The Minister said that as the ministry completed more roads Nigerians would travel more efficiently and thereby improve the economy.

According to him commuters will travel more efficiently, burn less fuel and reach their destinations quicker.

Also the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udoma, added that FEC had extensive discussion on the economic growth plan.

He said that final consultations are being made before the president would launch it.

Udoma said that the plan being approved would drive economic recovery and lay the foundation for longer term growth.

He said it would address the country’s poor competitiveness, improve the business environment and attract investment in infrastructure, especially power, roads, rail and ports.

He said that jobs and social inclusion “are also key focus areas in the plan’’.

The minister said that immediate execution priorities included agriculture and food security as well as energy particularly power and petroleum products sufficiency.

He also mentioned industrialization with focus on medium and small enterprises, transportation as well as sufficiency and stabilization of the micro economy.

Udoma said that FEC also dwelt on implementation of the plan’s implementation with the creation of a delivery unit in the presidency.

According to him the key principles of the plan were to include tackling the constraints to growth and leveraging the power of the private sector, promoting national cohesion and social inclusion.


FEC Approves N700m For Constructions In Six Federal Secretariats

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved funds for the ongoing construction of federal secretariats in six states.

The approval was given at a meeting of the council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; and the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, spoke to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.

Fashola said work on the six federal secretariats which are in various stages of completion had been stalled since 2012.

He listed the states concerned to include Anambra, Bayelsa, Zamfara, Nassarawa, Gombe and Osun.

A total of N700m was approved.

In his explanation, Fashola stated that the change in costs to the change in designs, among others.

“The approved cost variation has already been captured in the 2016 budget. With the approval of the variation, we can re-mobilise workers back to site,” he said.