New Telegraph

FG approves N16.9bn private sector investments in road infrastructure

The Federal Government has approved N16.9 billion private sector investments for road infrastructure through the government’s Tax Credit Programme.

This was disclosed on Wednesday by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who briefed newsmen after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

The minister explained that the programme was initiated in 2019 through Executive Order 7 signed by the President which allowed the private sector to finance public infrastructure in lieu of tax and then offset it over time using tax credits.

According to him, the first project the Council approved based on the policy, was the 234-kilometer road from Bali to Sheti through Gashaka to Gembu in Taraba State at the sum of N95,232,474,010.72.

He disclosed that an existing N20 billion under NNPC Tax Credit Scheme would be used to kick start the project immediately.

“The second road which is also the tax credit scheme, which was 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 a total of N74,486,577, 050,” he said.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed, who briefed on behalf of his counterparts in Aviation, Power and Agriculture, said the Council approved the sum of N3,491,622,340 for the purchase of a property in Abuja for the Ministry of Aviation.

According to him, the property to be acquired was to enable the Ministry to co-locate with many of its agencies.

He also told newsmen that the Council awarded an N553.575 million contract for the establishment and deployment of Advanced Report Generation Utility Engine Web-based Reporting Tools in favour of Messrs 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 the 232-kilometre Yola, Song, Gombe, Mubi, Gulako 132 KV double circuit transmission line from $16 million plus N1.248 billion to $16.698 billion plus N2,337,643,640.

He added that the sum of N409 million was approved for the power ministry to purchase replacements of defective circuit breakers even as he disclosed that a memo of the Minister of Agriculture seeking approval for a National Agricultural Technology Innovation Policy was approved.

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 harmonization normalization analytics and application program 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 has been able to recover the sum of N5 billion from contractors assuring that with the implementation of the third phase, more recovery would be made.

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