The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has announced plans to invest over N1 trillion to revamp selected roads in Nigeria.
This is coming months after announcing the NNPC released N621 billion for a similar purpose.
The NNPC Group Chief Executive, Mallam Mele Kyari, disclosed this during a tour of roads in the North-central and South-west.
He was accompanied on the tour by the Chief Executive of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, and top officials of the Ministry of Works and Housing.
Kyari pledged that Nigerian road users will experience substantial comfort when commuting in the coming months.
The programme was being executed under the tax credit scheme which is funded by the NNPC through FIRS and by extension the ministry of works, following Executive Order 007, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Under the arrangement, participants were entitled to utilise the total cost, referred to as “Project Cost”, incurred in the construction or refurbishment of an eligible road as a tax credit against their future Companies Income Tax (CIT) liability, until full cost recovery is achieved.
In the first phase, the NNPC will construct a total of 1,804.6 kilometres of roads at a total cost of N621,237,143,897.35, with the North-central getting the highest chunk of N244.87 billion and the South-south emerging as the second highest beneficiary of the NNPC roads project with the sum of N172.02 billion.
In addition, the South-west has a total allocation of N81.87 billion; it’s N56.12 billion for the North-east, while the South-east has N43.28 billion allocation. The North-west was allocated N23.05 billion.
Kyari visited the roads in Niger State where he carried out an assessment of the reconstruction of Bida-Lambata road in the state, with a length 124.81km, and the Lagos-Badagry expressway along the Agbara junction and Nigeria/Benin border.
He noted that the reconstruction of the selected federal roads is being carried out by the NNPC in order to sustain a smooth supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.
The NNPC Boss stated that the NNPC was taking cognisance of the importance of road infrastructure to the development of the Nigerian economy, explaining that it is the reason it is investing massively in road infrastructure.
Kyari termed the programme a game changer in the federal government’s quest to scale up infrastructure projects in the country, adding that the NNPC will continue to support any effort of the government aimed at growing the Nigerian economy.
He expressed satisfaction with the progress of work so far done in the project sites visited, adding that the NNPC had done its part in releasing all the funds needed for their execution.
The NNPC GCEO said, “We are very happy about the state of this road development. We are very happy with this intervention across the country not just in this place. We are doing 1,800km across the country. We are taking another set of over N1 trillion of investments in road infrastructure in the country.
“We believe that this tax credit system which Mr President has put in place is the game changer for our country.
“We believe that in the next 24 months, there will be massive change to the entire road network in this country and this is why NNPC is your company and working for all of us.
“We think that it is the best way to intervene and bring up our infrastructure. We are adding another set of cash, we have not reached the final numbers, but I know it is over N1 trillion.”
Kyari explained that the quality of work was top-notch, adding that the consultants deployed during Buhari’s stint at the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), were handling the jobs.
“We are using the same consultants in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Works and the FIRS to make sure that this works for all of us and we can see from the quality of work.
Kyari said, “This is the best framework for delivering infrastructure in the country. We are funding partners. We are development partners and enablers.
“So, whatsoever the FIRS and the ministry of works approve for us, we will consider from our cash flow and fund them,” he assured.
In his comments, the Director, Roads, Ministry of Works, Folorunso Esan, said through the intervention, the NNPC has been able to improve the pace of the project from 10 per cent to about 40 per cent within a very short period.
“From what we can see, the intervention from NNPC has taken this project from 10 per cent to 40 per cent in a very short time.
“And we have achieved a lot and you can see that the construction is still ongoing and what they have done already is quality work which everyone has attested to. And they are ready to complete this project with the funding available.”
In his remarks, the Oba of Ibereko in Badagry, Israel Okoya, lamented that prior to the NNPC’s intervention, motorists spent between two to six hours daily on the traffic in the area, stressing that currently travel time of the road has been reduced to less than an hour.
Earlier in Niger state, the Etsu Nupe, Yahaya Abubakar, applauded the initiative and called for closer collaboration among all the parties involved.
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