FG approves N169.7bn private sector investments in road infrastructure

...okays N3.4bn for purchase of aviation property

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N169.7 billion in private sector investments under the Tax Credit Programme for road infrastructure.

Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, disclosed this while briefing State House journalists, after the weekly FEC meeting provided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Wednesday, in Abuja.

The minister said the programme was initiated in 2019 through Executive Order 7 signed by the president which allows 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-kilometre road from Bali to Sheti through Gashaka to Gembu in Taraba State at 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.

“The applicant, in this case, is Mainstream Energy Solutions, a major energy player in the country, seeking to also participate in this policy by investing a total of N74,486,577, 050,” he said.

Also, Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, who briefed on behalf of his counterparts in aviation, power and agriculture, said the council approved the N3,491,622,340 for the purchase of a property in Abuja for the ministry of aviation.

According to him, the acquisition of the property was to enable the ministry co-locate with many of its agencies.

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He also told newsmen that the council awarded a contract of N553.575 million for the establishment and deployment of Advanced Report Generation Utility Engine Web-based Reporting Tools in favour of Msssrs Sinecou Limited with a delivery date of 12 months.

The FEC also approved 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, for the ministry of power.

He added that N409 million was approved for the power ministry to replace defective circuit breakers while a memo from the minister of agriculture seeking approval for a National Agricultural Technology Innovation Policy was also approved.

Clement Agba, minister of state for budget and national planning, said his ministry presented a memo on phase 3 of the Lighthouse programme on the digital infrastructure of voluntary assets and income declaration scheme bids and tax harmonisation normalisation analytics and application programme interface.

According to him, “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 phase 1&2, the government has been able to recover N5 billion from contractors, assuring that with the implementation of the third phase, more recovery would be made.