The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, through the Tax Credit Scheme has presented a cheaque of over six hundred and twenty one billion naira to Federal Ministry and Works and Housing for the reconstruction of twenty-one federal roads across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones.
The fund is a calculated intervention in the Government Road Infrastructure and Refreshment Tax Credit Scheme that falls under Executive Order 7 which allows the private sector taxes to pay for infrastructure development.
Works and Housing Minister Mr. Babatunde Fashola during the presentation of Cheque in Abuja disclosed that NNPC was not taking over the construction of roads from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing but just putting its tax liabilities to the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS and are dedicating it to build roads that have been awarded and would have been completed but for insufficient budgetary provisions.
“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.” Fashola said.
The Minister revealed that the scheme, under the executive order 007 was inherited from the previous administration who didn’t implement it.
He said the Buhari administration recognised it and used it to execute the Obajana – Kabba road as a strategic partnership with the private sector, and that it was 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 the Federal Government.
“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,” Fasdhola said.
He also noted that telecommunications companies have indicated their readiness to take part in it.
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 5 days after which NNPC is expected to pay within 30 days.
In his address, the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammed Nami thanked the federal government for the tax credit scheme.
He said it was introduced due to the insufficiency in budgetary allocations, expressing optimism that fund 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 organisation was 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 added.
An indigenous contractor, Mr. Isioma – Ezi-Ashi of Sermatech Nigeria Limited who spoke on behalf of his colleagues thanked the Nigerian 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 among the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Federal Inland Revenue Service, NNPC and the Contractors.
Source: Voice of Nigeria