21 critical roads rehabilitation: NNPC officially hands over N621bn cheque to works ministry

For the proposed road infrastructure tax credit scheme 2021 for 21 critical roads the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), on Tuesday, officially handed over a N621bn cheque to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.

The Company had offered to fund the reconstruction of the identified federal roads projects due to their deplorable states.

Speaking at the signing of the tax credit Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Ministry in Abuja, the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, who presented the cheque to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said the intervention became imperative as the poor state of the roads were negatively affecting the transportation of petroleum products across the country.

The cheque was immediately handed over to the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola which in turn, was transferred to the road contractors who were at the event.

The NNPC GMD who was represented by the Chief Finance Officer, Mr Umar Ajiya, said the spate of pipeline vandalism had led to the transportation of products through roads.

“We are very pleased to be part of this simply because the condition of the road network in the country is affecting our business,”he added

He noted that the N621bn would be used to fix a total of about 1,800km stretch of 21 roads nationwide, even as he urged the ministry and its contractors to ensure that the roads were delivered as expected.

On his part, Fashola stressed that the NNPC was not taking over the construction of roads but putting forward its tax liabilities to the FIRS, which is being dedicated to build roads that have been awarded and would have been completed but for insufficient budgetary provisions.

He said: ” Let me make 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.

Fashola further noted that the scheme was not for one company alone as other companies could apply.

Fashola revealed that a governing process had been put in place that requires the Ministry to look into certification, send them to FIRS for verification within 5 days after which NNPC is expected to pay within 30 days.

He also said that an agreement had been reached with the contractors on price variations

Also, the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Muhammad Nami, said the N621bn investment was as a result of an Executive Order that supported such activity, with the aimed of improving the nation’s critical infrastructure.

He observed that the move became necessary since the country’s annual budgetary allocation for roads was absolutely insufficient to fix road infrastructure across the country.

“This investment in roads is as a result of Executive Order 007 of 2019 that encourage tax payers to use company income tax payable by them in fixing our critical roads,” Nami stated.

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