NNPC not constructing roads: Fashola


Mr Babatunde Fashola

Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola has dispelled rumours that the NNPC is taking over the job of the ministry.

Fashola stressed that the arrangement was coming under Executive Order 7, which existed during the last administration, but was never deployed.

The Minister made the clarification during the symbolic presentation of the cheque for the 21 critical roads funded by NNPC through the Tax Credit Scheme at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.

Shedding light on the scheme, Fashola 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).”

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 the government.

He explained that the scheme was not for one company alone as any company that was interested in it can apply to Federal Government.

Fashola 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 would aid their businesses.

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

Speaking further on the amendment made by President Buhari, Fashola revealed that a governing process had been put in place that required the Ministry of Works and Housing to look into the certification, send them to FIRS for verification within five days, after which NNPC was 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 were over 10 years old.

Also speaking, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC Limited, Malam Mele Kyari, described the initiative as remarkable because of the difference the funding would make in the country’s roads.

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Represented by the Chief Financial Officer, Mr Umar Ajiya, the GMD noted that due to the incessant vandalism of the NNPC’s pipelines, the national oil company had resorted to hauling products by road.

“This is a very remarkable event simply because the condition of the road network in the country is affecting our business in our quest to participate in the energy security of Nigeria.

“These roads have also suffered some failure over the years and sometimes we find it difficult to pass the road.

“It is on that note, that we found it necessary and very important to step in to support the federal ministry of works in funding these numbers of roads,” he explained.

The Chairman, FIRS, Muhammed Nami, explained that the scheme would encourage taxpayers to use company income tax payable by them to fix Nigeria’s critical infrastructure in exchange for tax credit.

“This tax credit is issued after a confirmation process has taken place using our audit procedures that verifies that monies that ordinarily should be invested in these roads are actually invested in the roads.

“Once that is done, we then issue a tax credit to the taxpayer.

“This is also to support the fact that there is a social contract between the taxpayers and the government.

“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 because the annual budgetary allocations for these roads are not only minimal but absolutely insufficient.”

The occasion also witnessed the signing of an MoU, among the stakeholders, including the ministry, FIRS, NNPC Limited and the contractors.

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