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FEC approves N169bn private sector investment for road infrastructure

The federal executive council (FEC) has approved N169 billion in private sector investments for road infrastructure through the government’s tax credit programme.

The council gave approval on Wednesday in a meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, said the programme was initiated in 2019 through executive order No 7, signed by the president.

He said the executive order allowed the private sector to finance public infrastructure in lieu of tax and then offset it over time using tax credits.

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Fashola further explained that the first project the council approved based on the policy was the 234-kilometre road from Bali to Sheti through Gashaka to Gembu in Taraba state at the sum of N95,232,474,010.72.

He disclosed that the existing N20 billion under the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) tax credit scheme would be used to kickstart the project immediately.

“The second road which is also the tax credit scheme, which was approved by the council is 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.

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Meanwhile, Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, who spoke 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.

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

Mohammed said that the council also awarded a N553.575 million contract for the establishment and deployment of advanced report generation utility engine web-based reporting tools in favour of Messers Sinecou Limited with a delivery date of 12 months.

He said the council also approved (for the power ministry) an upward review of the 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 N2,337,643,640.

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Mohammed added that N409 million was approved for the power ministry to purchase replacements for defective circuit breakers.

He also disclosed that a memo from the minister of agriculture seeking approval for a national agricultural technology innovation policy was approved.

On his part, Clement Agba, minister of state for finance, said Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, presented a memo on phase three of the Lighthouse Programme on the digital infrastructure of voluntary assets and income declaration scheme bids and tax harmonisation, normalisation 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.

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Agba added that with phases one and two of the project, 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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