The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday, at its meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari ratified the Multi-Lateral Competent Authority Agreement.
The ratification now gives opportunity for Nigeria and other countries to exchange vital information on financial accounts, in order to check tax evasion and improve revenue generation.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said this, while briefing State House Correspondents, on behalf of Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, on the outcome of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.
He said: “Actually this is a memo which was approved and is going to assist in curbing tax evasion and improve the revenue collection of government. She also presented a memo asking for the approval of ratification of the African 50 Article Association.
“This particular memo is unique in the sense that both the African 50 Project Finance and African 50 Project Development Association are actually two windows which have been created by the African Development Bank to allow for bankable infrastructural projects to be financed by the subsidiaries of the African Development Bank.
“There are certain projects which cannot be financed simply by the ADB so they created this two windows to allow for such projects to be financed by these two platforms and already Nigeria is one of the founding members of these two platforms and have invested heavily in them and with the ratification of this treaty it has made it possible for Nigeria to take advantage of this.”
Lai also announced that the Council approved the Financial Transparency Policy Guidelines, in order to bring more transparency to financial matters in all government agencies.
“This memo was approved and I think the unique thing about this memo is that it going to bring more transparency to how government revenue and account are being handled. As a matter of fact, with the approval of this memo it will now be possible for the public to know exactly how much revenue is collected by the government, how much is being spent just by going on the website of the various Ministries, Department and Agencies,” he said.
He also said the Council approved the revised cost for the procurement and construction of a gas pipeline project for the country.
“There was memo by the Minister of State, Petroleum, who sought the Council’s approval for a revised estimate total cost for the engineering, procurement and construction of the OB3 gas pipeline project.
“Again this is a project that has been awarded but there was a need for the cost of the redesigning to seek for Council’s approval so that there will be enough funds to execute the project and the total cost of the contract is $92m and N765.968m. These were the memos that were considered and approved,” he said.
The Minister stated that the project was important because it had to do with the delivery of gas from the Eastern part of the country to the power turbines, to improve power supply across the country.