The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Tuesday handed over a symbolic cheque of N621.24 Billion for the rehabilitation of 21 critical roads across the country through the Tax Credit Scheme under the Executive Order 7 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
This was disclosed in a press statement signed by the Special Adviser, Communications to the Minister, Mr Hakeem Bello on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.
TheFact Nigeria observed that time was running out on the Buhari-led administration as a good number of roads promised were still untouched.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, explained that the Tax Credit Scheme, which, according to him, was inherited from the previous administration, was meant as a strategic partnership with the Private Sector.
He said the present administration was currently using it, (Tax Credit Scheme) for the construction and rehabilitation of Kabba-Obajana Road in Kogi State and the Apapa-Oworonsoki Road in Lagos.
He added that NNPC was not taking over roads, NNPC is not constructing roads, NNPC is only putting forwards its tax liabilities to fund the roads”, Fashola said reiterating that the roads would have been completed some years back but for insufficiency of funds.
The representative of the Group Managing Director of the NNPC and Chief Finance Officer of the Corporation, Mr. Umar Ajiya, said NNPC was motivated by the challenged condition of some of the nation’s roads most of which were the arteries of the company’s operations adding that with the vandalization of the distribution pipelines, the company had been forced to use the roads as its channel of distribution of petroleum products nationwide.
Thanking the Minister of Works and Housing and other relevant agencies of government, the NNPC Chief Finance Officer said the symbolic presentation of the N621 billion was a way of contributing to the Federal Government efforts to give Nigerians befitting road network adding that it was an investment that was being done in compliance to the Executive Order 007 to use the company’s tax credit.
The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Muhammad Nami, in his remarks, said the investment in roads was as a result of Executive Order 007, 2019 meant to encourage taxpayers to use company income tax payable by them to fix the nation’s critical infrastructure in exchange for tax credit.
Explaining the process involved in the scheme, the Executive Chairman said the scheme was meant also to support “the fact that there is a social contract between the taxpayers and the government” adding, “What government is using the Executive Order 007 to do is to give value to taxpayers’ money.
“This is unprecedented and very necessary for us to fix the roads in Nigeria”, he said, adding that it had become expedient because the annual budgetary allocation for the roads were not only minimal but absolutely insufficient. He said it was most importantly meant to bridge the critical infrastructure gap that the country face.
The critical roads, which are major routes for the distribution of petroleum products across the country by the NNPC include, roads in the north central zone totalling 791kilometers: the dualization of Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa/Bokani Junction Road Section I: Ilorin-Jebba In Kwara State, dualization of Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa/Bokani Junction Road Section II: Jebba-Mokwa-Bokani Junction In Kwara/Niger States and dualization of Suleja-Minna Road in Niger State.
Also in the zone are the dualization of Suleja-Minna Road in Niger State Phase II, Reconstruction of Bida-Lambata Road in Niger State, Agaie – Katcha – Baro Road, Emergency Repairs of failed section of Mokwa – Makera – Tegina – Kaduna State Border in Niger State, Minna – Zungeru – Tegina road and Bida – Minna Road.
In the South-South, three roads totaling 81.90 kilometres which are under the scheme include rehabilitation of Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene Road in Cross River State Section I: Odukpani-Itu Bridge Head in Cross River/Akwa Ibom States, dualization of outstanding portion of Odukpani-ltu-lkot Ekpene, and dualization of Oku-Iboku Power Plant Section of the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene Road in Cross River/Akwa Ibom States.
The roads chosen in the South East, aggregating to122 kilometres, include rehabilitation of Umuahia (Ikwuano)-Ikot Ekpene Road: Umuahia-Umudike in Abia State and the dualization of Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road in Abia/Akwa Ibom States.
In the North East, roads involved total 117 kilometres. They include rehabilitation of Cham-Numan Section of Gombe-Yola Road in Adamawa State, construction of Bali – Serti Road in Taraba State and rehabilitation of Gombe – Biu Road in Gombe/Borno State.
In the North West the roads chosen, which aggregate to 283.5kilometres, include Rehabilitation of Outstanding Sections of Gada – Zaima – Zuru – Gamji Road Phase II in Kebbi State and Rehabilitation of Zaria-Funtua-Gusau-Sokoto-Birnin Kebbi.
In the South West, roads chosen are rehabilitation and expansion of Lagos-Badagry Expressway (Agbara Junction-Nigeria/Benin Border) in Lagos State and the dualization of Ibadan – Ilorin Road (Route A2) Section II in Oyo State (Oyo – Ogbomosho) which aggregate to 114.00 kilometres.
The symbolic cheque presentation ceremony was followed by a signing of Funding Intervention Agreement by the NNPC, FIRS, the Ministry of Works and Housing and the Contractors.
Also present at the ceremony were the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Babangida Hussaini, Directors and Special Advisers as well as top officials of the NNPC and the Federal Inland Revenue Service and contractors handling the aforementioned roads.