… Intervention in road projects to reach more than N1.6trn
Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd is ready to release additional funds of more than N1trn for critical road projects in the country.
NNPC Ltd Group Chief Executive Mallam Mele Kyari revealed this on Thursday in Lagos during a tour of the ongoing work being done on the Agbara-Badagry highway project.
He visited the project sites with members of the NNPC Board, officials from the Federal Internal Revenue Service led by Chief Executive Muhammad Nami, and senior officials from the Ministry of Works, as well as other critical stakeholders.
Kyari said the additional N1trn that the NNPC plans to spend will be done through the Federal Government’s road infrastructure tax credit scheme.
The NNPC chief’s disclosure comes about 14 months after the National Petroleum Company expressed interest in investing in the reconstruction of selected federal highways to maintain a smooth supply and distribution of petroleum products throughout the country.
The road construction project is being executed under the tax credit scheme financed by the NNPC through the Federal Internal Revenue Service in accordance with the executive order 007 of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the initial program, the NNPC is building a total of 1,804.6 kilometers of roads at a total cost of N621,237,143,897.35.
Speaking during an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the tour, Kyari said that NNPC understands the importance of road infrastructure for the development of the Nigerian economy, adding that this is the reason why massive investments are being made.
in that area for the benefit of Nigerians.
He described the tax credit scheme, which is the initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari, as a game changer in the federal government’s quest to expand infrastructure projects in the country, noting that the NNPC will continue to support any government effort aimed at grow the Nigerian economy. .
Kyari expressed her satisfaction with the progress of the work done so far at the project sites visited, adding that the NNPC has done its part in releasing all necessary funds for its implementation.
The GCEO said: “We are very happy with the state of the development of this highway. We are very happy with this intervention throughout the country, not only in this place.
“We are doing 1,800 km throughout the country. We are taking another set of more than N1trn of investments in road infrastructure in the country.
“We believe that this tax credit system that the president has put in place is the game changer for our country.
“We believe that in the next 24 months there will be a massive change in the entire road network of this country and that is why NNPC is your company and works for all of us.
“We think that it is the best way to intervene and move our infrastructure forward. We’re adding another set of cash, we haven’t gotten to the final numbers, but I know it’s above N1trn.”
He said the projects are being implemented with the consultant that President Muhammadu Buhari used when he was chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund.
He expressed his optimism that with the consultant’s expertise, quality roads will be delivered to Nigerians through the project.
He added: “Throughout the country, everywhere we have our consultants. A world class consultant that was used by Mr. President when he was PTF president to deliver all those projects that you all remember.
“We are using the same consultants in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Public Works and FIRS to make sure this works for all of us and we can see in the quality of the work.
“This is the best framework to deliver infrastructure in the country. We are funding partners. We are development partners and facilitators. So, everything that FIRS and the Ministry of Works approve for us, we will consider from our cash flow and we will finance it”.
Also speaking, the Director of Roads of the Ministry of Works, Ing. Folorunso Esan, praised the NNPC for its intervention in the country’s critical road infrastructure.
Specifically, he said that through the intervention, NNPC has been able to improve the pace of the project from ten percent to around 40 percent in a very short period of time.
He said: “From what we can see, NNPC’s intervention has taken this project from 10 percent to 40 percent in a very short time.
“And we’ve accomplished a lot and you can see the construction is still ongoing and what they’ve already done is quality work that everyone has attested to. And they are ready to complete this project with the funds available.”
Also speaking during an interview with THE WHISTLER, the Oba of Ibereko in Badagry, Oba Israel Adewale Okoya said that residents of the area have suffered untold hardships due to the poor condition of the road.
Specifically, he said before the NNPC intervention, motorists spent between two and six hours a day in traffic in the area.
However, he said that with this intervention by the NNPC, travel time on the road has been reduced to less than an hour.
He said: “Two, three, four years ago, we had a problem here, from Badagry to Agbara it’s two to four hours, to mile 2 it’s six hours. But today, in less than an hour you can reach Agbara and we are happy”.