The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) has received the approval of the federal government to invest N621.2 billion to take over the repairs and reconstruction of 21 critical highways spread across the nation’s six geo-political zones.
At the end of the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the NNPC was granted tax relief scheme to invest the amount on the construction of the 1, 804.6 kilometres-long stretch of roads over a reviewable three-year period.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who made these known to journalists declared that six out of the 21 roads were located in Niger State which is known to have one of the worst road networks in the country.
According to him, the intervention by the NNPC was a strategic move under the federal government’s Road Infrastructure and Refreshment Tax Credit Scheme.
He said nine of the benefitting road projects are in north-central, three in north-east, two in the north-west, two in the south-east, three in south-south, and two in south-west.
The minister disclosed that his ministry presented three memoranda to the Council that were approved, explaining that two of the documents were on road contracts.
He said the first memorandum had to do with a section of Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja road especially the section to Apet Central where he said had a problem with steel reinforced drain that was discovered there.
“Those drains were put there, about 42 years ago and 86 of them have failed and we need to replace them now with concrete rain drains to allow water pass through otherwise the retention of water will badly impact the road.
“As a result of that, we have to revise the scope of works from rehabilitation to construction in order to remove all the old steel drains that are corroded and replaced them with concrete drains.
“It is over 75 kilometers road and that will require an augmentation contract by an additional sum of N12 billion. So that memo was approved,” he added.
Fashola further explained that the second memorandum had to do with the road infrastructure tax credit scheme.
“You recall the Executive Order seven signed by Mr. President allowing private sector operators to identify infrastructure such as roads for which you deploy your taxes in advance with tax and pay.
“Also recall that I had briefed you here about the use of that policy like the Dangote Group from Obajana to Kabba, Apapa to Oworoshoki roads