The federal executive council (FEC) has approved the takeover of the construction work on the Enugu-Onitsha expressway by MTN Nigeria at about N202.8 billion, under the road infrastructure tax credit (RITC) scheme.
Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, said this on Wednesday while speaking with journalists after the council’s meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the approval was in line with the executive order 7 signed by Buhari in January 2019.
“In 2019, January 25, specifically, you might recall that President Buhari approved executive order 7, which was the road infrastructure tax credit scheme, to allow the private sector to invest tax liabilities in advance in infrastructure, and that policy has helped us to finance roads like or by Obajana to Kaba, Apapa-Oshodi, Oshoki-Ojota Expressway, the Bodo-Bonni expressway in Port Harcourt, about a 1000 kilometres covering 21 roads under the NNPC investment. So, there is increased optic for that policy. So, today we have two more,” he said.
He said the telecoms giant will complete the dualisation of the 110-kilometre road.
The RITC scheme grants income tax credit to companies and individuals that provide funding for the refurbishment and rehabilitation of roads.
The scheme is a public-private partnership (PPP) intervention that enables the Nigerian government to leverage private sector capital and efficiency for the construction, repair, and maintenance of critical road infrastructure in key economic areas in Nigeria.
Participants will be entitled to utilise the total cost (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 August 2021, MTN announced plans to reconstruct the Enugu-Onitsha expressway, under the RITC.
A year later, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said it issued a N37.28 billion tax credit certificate to Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited for the construction of the Bonny-Bodo road in Rivers state.
Meanwhile, the FEC also approved the award of contract by the Police Trust Fund for the supply of vehicles as well as insurance cover for several other vehicles at a total cost of N4.54 billion.
The vehicles consist of eight Land Cruisers, eight Toyota Prado, 2021 model and 44 Toyota Camry.
The vehicles intended for tactical operations are at a total cost of N4.5 billion.