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Roads infrastructure: FG okays N169.72bn private sector investments

Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

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The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday okayed N169.7bn private sector investments for at least four road infrastructures through the government’s Tax Credit Scheme.

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The roads include a 234-kilometre stretch from Bali to Sheti through Gashaka to Gembu in Taraba State at the sum of N95,232,474,010.72.

The second road, which is also a tax credit scheme, consists of three roads worth N74,486,577,050.

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The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made this known to State House correspondents at the end of the council meeting presided over by the President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

Fashola, who noted that the scheme was initiated in 2020 through Executive Order 7 signed by the President, said the arrangement allowed private sector players to finance public infrastructure instead of paying taxes and then offset it over time using tax credits.

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For the 234-kilometre road in Taraba costing N95.23bn, Fashola said a N20bn under the NNPC Tax Credit Scheme would be disbursed to begin the project soonest.

“The two main memoranda (presented to the council) relate to the uptake by the private sector in response to the tax credit program, which we initiated in 2020, by Mr. President signing of Executive Order 7 to allow private sector finance public infrastructure in lieu of tax and then to offset it over time using tax credits.

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“So the first road that was awarded today on that policy initiative is the rule road from Bali to Sheti through Gashaka to Gembu in Taraba State. A total of 234 kilometres reconstruction of that road in the sum of 95,232,474,010.62.

“The existing road, for those who are familiar with it, has no concrete stone base. It is just laterite on the asphalt so it doesn’t last and it’s breaking up and leading to potholes.

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“So we’ve rewarded this now for reconstruction under the tax credit scheme, there’s a N20bn provision under the NNPC tax credit scheme that will be used to kickstart this immediately.

“The second road which is also the tax credit scheme, which was approved by the Council is actually three roads. The applicant, in this case, is Mainstream Energy Solutions, a major energy player in the country is now seeking to also participate in this policy by investing a total of N74,486,577, 050,” he explained.

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Speaking on behalf of his counterparts in the ministries of Aviation, Power and Agriculture, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, revealed that the Council approved N3.49bn for the purchase of an office building in Abuja for the Ministry of Aviation.

This, he said, would cluster the various agencies under the ministry into a single location.

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He also revealed that Council awarded a N553.58m contract for the establishment and deployment of Advanced Report Generation Utility Engine Web-based Reporting Tools in favour of Messrs Sinecou Limited with a delivery date of 12 months.

In his brief, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, said the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning presented a memo on Phase three of the Lighthouse programme on the digital infrastructure of voluntary assets and income declaration scheme bids and tax harmonization normalization analytics and application program interface.

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