The federal government has approved the award of 274.9 kilometres road construction contract worth N309.92bn to Dangote Group under the Government’s Roads Infrastructure Tax Credit policy.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, told newsmen, at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, that the road contract which would be executed with cement material is the first ever of such project in the country.
According to the minister the five roads are; Bama to Banki in Borno State 49.153 kilometres for N51.016 billion with; Dikwa to Gamboru-Ngala, in Borno State 49.577 kilometres for N55.504 billion; Nnamdi Azikiwe Road, also known as a Western Bypass in Kaduna, from Command Junction to Kawu, 21.477 kilometres, for N37.560 billion and the deep seaport access road sections 1 and 3 in Lagos State, through Epe to Shagamu Expressway that links Lagos and Ogun states, 54.24 kilometres, for N85.838 billion; and the Obele/Ilaro/Papalanto to Shagamu Road in Ogun State, 100 kilometres for the sum of N79.996 billion.
“Council considered and approved this memorandum, to facilitate the construction of 274 kilometres of concrete roads. So, this will be the largest single award of concrete roads ever undertaken by the government of Nigeria in one award. The award of the contract to Dangote Group is consistent with the government’s multiple funding options, which includes engagement with the private sector. “Fahola said.
The minister noted that the tax credit scheme was initiated by the previous administration but has now been implemented by the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This administration has revised it, expanded it, and has used it to construct roads like the Apapa Wharf Road, the Oworonsoki to Apapa, through Oshodi Road, by the same Dangote Group. There was also interest by many other companies that are being reviewed. So, it’s not unique to Dangote. So, he’s the one who has applied and we’ve been in this process. They invest their money and when their taxes come due for payment, they net it off. That’s the circumstance. This is not concession,, it is tax credit policy.” He explained.
According to the Minister, the policy allows anyone, individual or corporate, who is ready to invest his resources in provision of any infrastructure that the public will access, to do so under prescribed criteria, which includes applying to the Ministry of Works.