Buhari signs executive order 007 on road infrastructure, tax credit scheme

Buhari signs executive order 007 on road infrastructure, tax credit scheme
January 26 13:36 2019

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By Nasir Kura

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday signed Executive Order 007 2019 on Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme.

The executive order, signed by the president at the State House in Abuja, allows private companies to build federal roads across the country.

Speaking at the signing of the executive order, the president reiterated federal government’s commitment to the provision of critical road infrastructure across the country.

“This is another opportunity to demonstrate the commitment of this administration to conceive, design, develop and deliver Public Private Partnerships with notable investors so as to close the road infrastructure gap in the transportation sector.

“Since I oversaw the successful implementation of the Petroleum Trust Fund roads development programme in the 1990s, various models have been adopted in addressing this infrastructure gap. In recent years, our reliance on annual budgetary allocations to fund roads development has been disappointing, given that our budget proposals have not always been passed in an expeditious manner by the National Assembly.

“There have also been revenue shortfalls that have hampered our efforts to fully fund critical projects. Furthermore, at the inception of this Administration, we met a significant backlog of local contractors’ debts, which we, as a responsible Administration, have undertaken to clear,” he said.

He said the new scheme on roads development was introduced in order to boost the confidence of investors, especially construction firms, in the ability of government to honour its financial commitments.

He said: “We did so with a view to improving the confidence of construction firms in the Federal Government, and to confirm our ability to honour financial commitments for infrastructure projects, as and when due.

“Despite these challenges, this administration remains committed to keeping our promises to deliver qualitative roads and transportation infrastructure to our citizens, communities and businesses. In this regard, we have consistently adopted innovative solutions to complement the annual budgetary spending on infrastructure.

“You may recall that on 25th February 2018, I approved the establishment of a Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, through which the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority is investing in critical Roads and Power Projects nationwide such as the 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos to Ibadan Expressway, East-West Road, Abuja – Kano Road, and the Mambila Hydroelectric Power Project.”

He said the signing of the executive order would afford investors an opportunity to recoup their money through a special tax credit scheme, that would afford them the opportunity to pay reduced taxes.

The president charged the Minister of Finance to ensure that the Management Committee saddled with the responsibility of implementing the roads infrastructure development scheme is promptly inaugurated to enable the swift and smooth take-off of the landmark initiative.

Under the new scheme, 19 eligible road projects are to be undertaken by six leading manufacturing and construction firms, located in 11 states, and in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.

Also speaking, chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who spoke on behalf of the business community, expressed concern over the bad state of roads in some parts of the country.

He said lack of good roads hampers business activities, stressing that manufacturing companies are ever ready to mobilise funds for the refurbishment of roads across the country.