By Abimbola Kintum
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has announced that the Federal Executive Council has approved Phase II of the NNPC/ FIRS Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme.
The Minister said the introduction of the NNPC Tax Credit Scheme will ensure the sustainability of funding critical infrastructure in Nigeria Fashola said this at a press briefing in Abuja where all the stakeholders, including NNPC, FIRS and contractors were in attendance.
This was contained in a Press Release signed by Director (Press and Public Relations) of the Ministry, Lere-Adams Blessing.
According to the Press Release, the Minister noted that contrary to inadequate funding of infrastructure experienced under successive administrations, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, has identified alternative sources of funding that could guarantee sustainability from the beginning of the projects to its completion without hitches.
Fashola explained that the tax credit scheme is a new model that encourages partnership with private companies where taxes are paid in advance to enable government invest in notable projects that would be beneficial to its citizens like what is going on in the road sector.
The Minister also mentioned that the Federal Government which has focused on nine major axis of Nigeria, explained that the A1 – A4 axis of the country covers the Northern part of the country, while the A5 – A9 axis covers the East-West zone of the country.
He explained that the successful completion of all the roads would lead to sustainable mobility for Nigerians.
According to the minister, roads like Akure – Ado –Ekiti and East-West which people have been complaining about would be adequately catered for with the approval of the second phase of the NNPC Tax Credit Scheme.
On payment of compensation, Fashola explained that compensation would not be paid to anyone occupying the government’s right-of-way, saying that the federal government right of way was 5.75 meters on both sides and appealed to members of the communities occupying it to vacate.
Earlier, in his introductory remarks, the Permanent Secretary, represented by the Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Engineer Folunsho Esan, recalled the Executive Order 7 (2019) which approved phase 1 of NNPC/FIRS Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme on the 27th of October 2021.
He stated that with the completion of Phase 1, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has also approved phase II of the scheme to fund 44 critical road infrastructures to the tune of N1.96 trillion naira.
On the part of NNPC, the Group Managing Director who was represented by the Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation, Umar Aliya, said that funding would not be an issue anymore as the Corporation is committed to fully funding phase II.