It was gathered that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved a bilateral agreement for the avoidance of double taxation in business deals between Nigeria and Singapore.
The approval, ratified at the 22nd meeting of FEC, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, would also prevent tax evasion on income and capital benefits between Nigeria and Singapore.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, told State House correspondents that the objective of the agreement was to facilitate more trade between Nigeria and Singapore
She said it would succeed by ensuring that nationals or enterprises were not taxed twice on income or profits derived from each of the countries.
“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,’’ she said.
The minister disclosed that the underlining principle behind the agreement was that Singapore had been a major trading partner with Nigeria.
She said the country was a major importer of Nigeria’s crude oil.
“They buy oil from us. Petroleum export to Singapore for the last five years is about $264 billion and we import about N311 billion worth of goods from them.’’
Also the Minister of State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, told correspondents that FEC approved bilateral air service agreement among Qatar, Singapore and Nigeria.
According to him, Singapore is becoming the most efficient and the biggest hob around the far eastern part of the globe, serving New Zealand, Australia, Japan, China, Singapore and Indonesia.
“We thought that in our efforts to also create a hob within Nigeria, the central Africa, we will leverage on the opportunity to create air services between the countries.
He said that Qatar, being in the Middle East, had robust aviation and strong carrier with ability to move goods and services in a very efficient and fast manner.
He added that the country also had the capacity to convey high-value commodities by air.
He said that FEC saw the need to sign some agreement so that they would define how enterprises could do businesses across Nigeria, Qatar and Singapore.
He added that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved that the air services agreement be signed.
He said that having been endorsed by FEC, the document would be forwarded to the National Assembly for confirmation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, moderated the briefing.