THE EXECUTIVE 19/05/2022
FEC Okays N169.7bn Private Sector Investments In Road Infrastructure
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) rose from its weekly virtual meeting Wednesday with an approval of N169.7 billion private sector investments for road infrastructure through the government’s Tax Credit Program (TCP).
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who briefed newsmen after the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, stressed 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-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 an existing N20 billion under NNPC Tax Credit Scheme would be used to kickstart the project immediately.
Fashola further said the second road which is also the tax credit scheme, which was approved by Council covered 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.
On his part, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who briefed journalists on behalf of his counterparts in Aviation, Power and Agriculture, said FEC 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 would enable the ministry to co-locate with many of its agencies.
He said: “This property will enable the ministry to be in the same building with many of its agencies. As of now, many of the agencies operate from rented properties and this is a drain on government apart from the fact that it does not allow for good coordination of activities. Necessary checks and legal searches have been made and the council approved the purchase today.”
The minister also said Council awarded a N553.575 million contract for the establishment and deployment of Advanced Report Generation Utility Engine Web-based Reporting Tools in favour of Msssrs Sinecou Limited with delivery date of 12 months.
Mohammed further disclosed that the Power Ministry got approval for the upward review of 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.
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.
He said: “Another memo by the Minister of Power also sought approval for the repair and refurbishment of defective nine sets of 330 KV, 13 sets of 132 KV and 26 sets of 33 KV Crompton grips circuit breakers for the Transmission Company of Nigeria. Some of these circuit breakers are weak, having been there for more than 35 years and the total sum is N409,089,841. And this is to help the network of the TCN.
“A memo of the Minister of Agriculture seeking approval for a national agricultural technology innovation policy was approved. It is a policy that aims at better synergy and alignment with MDAs to overcome inadequate coordination on policy implementation. It will address the issue of fragmentation of mandates and rivalries among MDAs in the agricultural sector.
“It will help livestock development and it will support the establishment of functional models of ranches, grazing reserves and integrated meat and dairy processing among others. The policy is also going to help promote knowledge creation and transfer through reorganising, unbundling and strengthening agricultural research and training systems.
“The policy will also give access to mechanization via tractor and implement hiring scheme. It will also impact on quality extension service delivery leading to enhanced technology adoption to strengthen value chain for quality crops, fisheries and aquaculture among others.”
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, said the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, 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 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 Phases 1 and 2, the government has been able to recover the sum of N5 billion from contractors, adding that with the implementation of the third phase, more recovery would be made.