L—R Minister of State for Solid Minerals Senator Abubakar Bwari, Minister of State for Environment Alhaji Abrahim Jibri, Minister of Women Affairs Hajia Aisha Alhassan, Minister of Defence General Mohammed Dan Ali [rtd] Minister of State for Health Dr Osagie Ehanire, and Secretary to the Federal Government of the Federation Engr Babachair David Lawal During the Federal Executive Council Meeting Held at the Presidential Villa Abuja , Wednesday Photo: GODWIN OMOIGUI.
  • Also air service agreements with Qatar, Singapore

Tobi Soniyi in Abuja

As part of moves to boost trade between Nigeria and Singapore, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a bilateral agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of evasion of taxes on income and capital benefits between the two countries.

Also wednesday, FEC approved bilateral air service agreement with the State of Qatar and Singapore.

The Minister for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the 22nd FEC meeting which the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, presided.

President Muhammadu Buhari has travelled to Morocco where he is attending a conference on climate change.

Also at the briefing yesterday were Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed and Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

Adeosun said the objective of the agreement was to facilitate more trades between Nigeria and Singapore by ensuring that nationals or enterprises from either country were not taxed twice on income or profits derived from each of the countries.

She said: “It will encourage more direct foreign investments into Nigeria, allow investors to know what their tax obligations will be and ensure sustainable tax regime for each country.”
According to her, the basis for choosing to sign the agreement with Singapore is that Singapore is a major trading partner with Nigeria.

She said: “They buy Coil from us. Petroleum export to Singapore for the last five years is about N264 billion and we import about N311billion worth of goods from them. Singapore is a major trading partner and we needed to have this bilateral agreement.

“It is basically to ensure companies are not taxed twice, but it will also ensure companies cannot evade tax when trading between the two countries.”

The Minister of State for Aviation said FEC also approved bilateral air service agreement with the State of Qatar, Singapore and Nigeria.

He said Singapore was fast becoming the most efficient and biggest hub around the far-eastern part of the globe, serving New Zealand, Australia, Japan, China, Singapore, Indonesia and others.

He said: “We thought that in our efforts to also create a hub within Nigeria, the centre of Africa, we can leverage on the opportunity to create air services between the two countries and Qatar being in the Middle East with robust aviation and strong carrier with ability to move goods and services in a very efficient and fast manner and also high value commodities by air.
“We saw the need to sign some agreements so that it will define how we are going to do businesses among Nigeria, Qatar and Singapore.”

Sirika said the president had approved that air services agreement be signed and that FEC had rectified and approved what was signed.

He said the agreements would be sent to the National Assembly for ratification.