FEC approves N169.7bn for reconstruction of 4 roads

Babatunde-Fashola

Mr Babatunde Fashola

By Ismaila Chafe

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N169.7bn for the reconstruction of four roads under the tax credit scheme.

Minister of works and Housing Babatunde Fashola made announced this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.

He said the approval was in response to the tax credit scheme, initiated in 2019 by President Buhari after signing Executive Order 7, to allow private sector finance public infrastructure in lieu of tax and then to offset it over time using tax credits.

“The two main memoranda relate to the uptake by the private sector in response to the tax credit programme, which we initiated in 2019, 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.

“So, the first road that was awarded today on that policy initiative is the road from Bali to Sheti through Gashaka to Gembu in Taraba state – 234 kilometers, reconstruction of the road at a cost of N95.232bn

“The existing road, for those who are familiar with it, has no concrete stone base.

“So it’s just laterite on the asphalt so it doesn’t last and it’s breaking up and leading to potholes.

“So, we have awarded 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 kick-start this immediately.

“So, this is a road that should not suffer from sustained funding challenges. Now that council has approved it, and it’s very critical road leading to the Mambilla Plateau.’’

According to the minister, the road also provides access to the Gashaka Game Reserve and also supports access to many farm lands.

Fashola also disclosed that the council gave approval to a private firm, Mainstream Energy Solutions, to invest over N74bn in the reconstruction of three roads in Kebbi and Niger States.

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“The second project, which is also on tax credit scheme approved by 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 about N74.4bn,” he said.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who briefed on behalf of his counterparts in Aviation, Power and Agriculture, said the Council approved about N3.5bn for the purchase of a property in Abuja for the Ministry of Aviation.

He said the property to be acquired was to enable the ministry co-locate with many of its agencies.

He further revealed that the Council awarded a N553.5m contract for the establishment and deployment of Advanced Report Generation Utility Engine Web-based Reporting Tools in favour of Msssrs Sinecou Limited with delivery date of 12 months.

The minister equally disclosed that his Power counterpart got approval for the upward review of original contract sum in respect of the construction of 232 kilometres Yola, Song, Gombe, Mubi, Gulako 132 KV double circuit transmission line from $16 million plus N1.248 billion to $16.698 billion plus N2,33bn.

He added that N409 million was approved for the Power ministry to purchase replacements of defective circuit breakers.

Mohammed stated that the council also gave approval to the Ministry of Agriculture for its National Agricultural Technology Innovation Policy.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, said the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning presented a memo on the Phase 3 of the Lighthouse programme on digital infrastructure of voluntary assets and income declaration scheme bids and tax harmonisation normalisation analytics and application programme interface.

He said the update on the project Lighthouse application was on the debt recovery module, the corporate profiling engine as a government gateway, and then the project Lighthouse website, Federal Government revenue performance management module and capacity building.

Agba disclosed that with the Phase 1&2, the government had been able to recover N5 billion from contractors, assuring that with the implementation of the third phase, more recovery would be made.

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