On Wednesday, the Federal Government said that it would not disclose to Nigerians the medical expenses of President Muhammadu Buhari while he was in London because the detail was too sensitive.
According to the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, disclosing Buhari’s medical expenditure will undermine Nigeria’s national security.
“This matter has come several times and our position on the matter is quite straight forward. What are the President’s conditions of service? What are his entitlements in terms of his well-being and healthcare? The state is supposed to take responsibility for these.
“We believe that asking for how much has been spent on the health of the President is an issue that we should weigh very well, both for national security and for moral issues. I don’t know why we must divulge such very sensitive information.
He stated this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The FG also set up a committee to solve the problem between the National Assembly and the executive together. The committee would be headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Also, the West African Tax Administration Forum establishment was approved and $500million Eurobond and also N403million to procure water supplying vehicle for the Federal Fire Service were approved.
According to Lai Mohammed, the National Assembly reconciliation committee would include all the ministers who were former members of the National Assembly, presidential liaison officers as well as other friendly stakeholders.
The committee is to take into consideration all outstanding matters including the rejection of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, the issues of the Comptroller General of Customs, Hammed Ali, etc.
“The executive is also concerned that the relationship between the two arms of government is not as smooth as it is supposed to be.
“In any democracy, it is a continuous struggle for balancing between the Executive and the Legislature because each of them is a creation of the law.
“We must strive at all times to ensure that there is that balance, amity and smooth relationship.
“Just today at the Federal Executive Council meeting, the issue was discussed and a committee is already working on ensuring that we resolve all these outstanding issues.”
Abdulraam Danbazzua, the Minister of Interior, spoke about the FEC approval of N403million from the ministry’s budget of N5.5billion. He said that; “Council approved the procurement of some water carrying vehicles for the Federal Fire Service. This is in an attempt to further revamp the Federal Fire Service which has experienced dearth of equipment for a very long time and with the challenges we have in terms of fire incidents all over the country.”
Also, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the Minister of Finance, said that the FEC approved the establishment of the West African Tax Administration Forum and also the approval of the $500million Eurobond.
“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.
“ Nigeria is the host of this body but we have ratified the project. The effect of it is that there will be better information sharing and cooperation between countries within West Africa on tax administration. This is really part of our tax reform efforts.
“As you know Nigerians own properties in Ghana and other neigbouring countries. Now, for tax purposes, they will be able to have access to that type of information.
“ Linked to that is the directive of the FEC 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.’’