The Federal Executive Council, FEC, has granted the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the approval to deploy over N621.2 billion of its tax liabilities to the construction of 21 roads, covering a total distance of 1,804.6km, across the six geo-political zones in the country.
The approval was given at the cabinet meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who briefed State House correspondents after the meeting explained that the NNPC’s initiative would help the Federal Government to achieve many things, including Ministerial Mandate 3 and 4, which were discussed at the last retreat.
“Ministerial Mandate 3 was energy sufficiency in electric power and petroleum energy distribution across the country.
“Petroleum energy distribution is being impacted positively and negatively by the transport infrastructure, which is Ministerial Mandate 4.
“So, NNPC has sought and Council has approved today that NNPC deploys tax resources to 21 roads covering a total distance of 1,804.6km across the six geo-political zones.”
Fashola said that out of the 21 roads, nine are in the North-Central, particularly Niger State, adding that the reason is that Niger State is a major storage center for NNPC.
“So, the reason NNPC is doing this is to facilitate petroleum distribution across the country, and you have seen that we have had every year, Niger State gridlock.
“The governor has been complaining that his roads are being damaged by trucks; drivers who overload their trucks, after damaging the roads themselves, now protest for the damage they sometimes have induced.
“So, there are nine like that in the North-Central; three in the Northeast, two in the Northwest, two in the South-East, three routes- the entire Odukpani-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene road in lots 1 2 and 3, now, fully covered.
“Then, in the South West, you have the Lagos Badagry Expressway, the Agbara junction, and you also have Ibadan to Illorin, the Oyo-Ogbomosho section.
“In the South East, you have the Aba-Ikot-Ekpene in Abia and the Akwa Ibom States; so that is a major link; then you have Umuahia-Ikwuano-Ikot-Ekpene road again and so on so forth.
“So, in the North-West, it is Gadar Zaima-Zuru-Ganji road and also Zaria- Funtua-Gusau to Sokoto road.
“In the North-East, it is the Chai-Numan, Bali-Sati and Gombe-Biu roads.
“The road impacted in the North-Central, include Illorin-Jeda-Mokwa-Bokani sections one and two; Suleja-Minna sections one and two, Bida-Lambata Agaie-kachi-Baro road and Mokwa-Makara-Tegina-Kaduna border in Niger State, Minna-Zungeru-Tegina road, and Bida-Minna road-all in Niger State.”
The minister said that with the initiative there would be no financing problem with the execution of these roads anymore.
“For example, Aba-Iko-Ekpene road has an estimate of about N30.3 billion it, the provision in the budget this year is only 200 million.
“If you look at Suleja-Minna road, section 2, it has N25.76 billion to complete it; the provision in the budget this year is just N100 million. “So, with these interventions, all those roads will be fully funded. You don’t have budgetary challenges and financing challenges anymore.”
According to Fashola, the approval was in line with Executive Order 7, signed by the President, allowing private sector operators to identify infrastructure such as roads for which they will deploy the taxes that they should have paid.
He said that the Dangote Group has deployed the policy in the construction of the Obajana to Kabba and Apapa to Oworonshoki roads.
“Earlier this year, there were five other roads, the Kaduna Western Bye-pass, the Lekki Port Road, the road from Shagamu through Papalanto and a couple of others like that; and one road in Maiduguri that was approved for about N320 billion,” he stated.
The Works Minister said that the cabinet also approved N12 billion augmentation for the work on the section of the Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja Road linking Akpet Central.
He said that 86 of the steel-reinforced drains, which were put there about 42 years ago, had failed, requiring that something be done to remedy the situation.
“We need to replace them now with concrete ring drains to allow water to flow. Otherwise, the retention of water badly impacts the road.
“As a result of that, we had to revise the scope of work from rehabilitation to construction in order to remove all the old steel drains that are corroded and replace them with concrete drains, over 75 km of the road network.”
Fashola said that his ministry also presented an information memorandum on the outcome of the National Council on Works held in Gombe State this month.
He said the memorandum had decisions reached at the Gombe meeting, including the use of more innovative materials like concrete in road construction and information on the national tolling policy.Share