NNPC Has Not Taken Over Road Construction, Fashola Clarifies

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  • As Apex Oil Firm Commits N600bn To Address 21 Roads Covering Over 1, 800 Kilometres
  • Nigeria’s Works and Housing Minister Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola has said that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) is not taking over the construction of roads from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.

The Minister made this disclosure during the symbolic presentation of Cheque for 21 critical roads funded by NNPC through the Tax Credit Scheme which took place at the Ministry’s headquarters in Mabushi, Abuja on Tuesday.

According to Fashola, the NNPC has committed over 600 Billion Naira to address 21 roads covering over 1, 800 kilometres.

While shedding light on the scheme the Minister said, “NNPC is not taking over roads, NNPC is not constructing roads, NNPC is just putting forward its tax liabilities to the authority who is supposed to collect, which is the Federal Inland Revenue Service, (FIRS).

“And they are dedicating it to build roads that have been awarded and would have been completed but for insufficient budgetary provisions.”

Fashola further made it clear that this is a tax credit intervention and essentially, the private sector company is putting forward what should have been its tax compensation for liabilities to government.

The Minister revealed that the scheme which is under the executive order 007 was inherited from the previous administration who didn’t implement it.

However, the Buhari administration recognized it and used it to execute the Obajana – Kabba road as a strategic partnership with the private sector.

He added that it is being used to address the Apapa – Oworoshoki expressway which serves the nation’s largely established port.

Fashola explained that the scheme was not for one company alone as any company who is interested in it is free to apply to Federal Government.

He said the Buhari administration amended the Executive order 007 to give room for the roads to be impacted to be diverse and also allow smaller companies to come together as a group to use their tax liabilities for smaller roads that will aid their businesses.

He expressed happiness that the amendments have attracted the interest of conglomerates like Dangote group, the oil industry which is stepping in with 600 Billion Naira to address 21 roads covering over 1, 800 kilometres.

He also noted that telecommunications companies have indicated their readiness to take part in it.

Speaking further on the amendment made by President Buhari, Fashola revealed that a governing process had been put in place that requires the Ministry of Works and Housing to look into certification, send them to FIRS for verification within five days after which NNPC is expected to pay within 30 days.

He also said that an agreement had been reached with the contractors that nobody would ask for price variations even though some of the contracts are over ten years old.

In his address, the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammed Nami who thanked the federal government for the tax credit scheme said it was introduced due to the insufficiency in budgetary allocations.

He expressed optimism that it will contribute in no small measure in bridging the gap in road infrastructure.

Earlier, the General Manager International Energy Relations Mr. Garba Hadejia who represented the Group Managing Director of NNPC lamented that since most pipelines have been vandalized, the only option left for his organization has to transport its products by roads.

‘’However, the bad condition of some the roads were adversely affecting the movement of petroleum products hence the decision of NNPC to support the Ministry of Works and Housing by partaking in the Cash Credit’’ he said.

An indigenous contractor, Mr. Isioma – Ezi-Ashi of Sermatech Nigeria Limited who spoke on behalf of his colleagues thanked the Federal Government for the scheme and promised that the contractors would do their best to ensure its the success.

The occasion also witnessed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, among the stakeholders: The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, FIRS, NNPC and the Contractors.

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