The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday received the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to intervene in what it calls the NNPC road rehabilitation exercise across the six-geo-political zones of the country with about N620 billion of its tax liabilities.
In all, NNPC will reconstruct and rehabilitate about 21 road projects covering a distance of 1,804.6 kilometres in the zones in the NPC road rehabilitation exercise.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this to State House correspondents after a virtual FEC meeting presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, the NNPC tax deployment will not be a one-off payment but periodic.
Fashola, a former Lagos State governor, explained that Executive Order 7 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari allows private sector operators to identify infrastructure such as roads for which they would deploy in advance the taxes that they should have paid.
The minister said:”You recall that I had briefed you here about the use of that policy by the Dangote Group on the Obajana to Kabba and Apapa to Oworonshoki.
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“ Earlier this year, there were five other roads, the Kaduna Western Bye-pass, the Lekki Port Road, the road from Sagamu through Papalanto and a couple of others like that.
“So, today we have another player; we have other interested players who are showing interest but we haven’t concluded.
“ But we have another player who has shown interest and committed to deploy taxes and it is the NNPC.
“So in the NNPC road rehabilitation, 21 roads have been identified by NNPC that it wants to deploy some of its tax liabilities to.”
The initiative, he stressed, would help the government to achieve many things, including Ministerial Mandate Three and Four, which were discussed at the recent FEC retreat.
“The Ministerial Mandate Three is 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 the Ministerial Mandate Four.
“So, NNPC has sought and council has approved today that NNPC deploy tax resources to 21 routes covering a total distance of 180.6km across the six geopolitical zones.
“Out of those 21 roads, nine are in the North-Central, particularly Niger State; and the reason is that Niger State is major storage centre for NNPC,” Fashola said.
He expressed the hope that NNPC’s initiative would facilitate seamless petroleum products distribution across the country particularly in Niger State which has been experiencing gridlocks.
On where the roads are, Fashola explained: “There are nine like that in the North-Central; three in the North-East, two in the North-West, two in the South-East, three routes- the entire Odukpani-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene road in lots one, two and three now, fully covered.
“Then, in the South-West, you have the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, the Agbara junction, and you also have Ibadan to Ilorin, the Oyo-Ogbomosho section.
“In the South-East, you have the Aba-Ikot-Ekpene in Abia and Akwa Ibom; 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 Cham-Numan, Bali-Serti and Gombe-Biu Roads.
“The road impacted in the North-Central, include Ilorin-Jeda-Mokwa-Bokani sections one and two; Suleja-Minna sections one and two.
“Bida-Lambata Agaie-katcha-Baro road and Mokwa-Makera-Tagina-Kaduna boarder in Niger State, Minna-Zungeru-Tegina road, and Bida-Minna road-all in Niger State; as I said, a total of 21 roads.’’