The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has taken over the reconstruction of 21 federal roads across the six-geopolitical zones of the country.
The approval was given at the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the council meeting, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, said the selected 21 roads totalled 1804.6 kilometers.
The Minister said it was a strategic intervention under the Federal Government Road Infrastructure and Refreshment Tax Credit Scheme.
He explained that it was under Executive Order 7 that allowed the private sector to deploy in advance the taxes they would pay for infrastructure development.
He said nine of the selected projects are in North Central, three in North East, two in North West, two in South East, three in South-South and two in South West.
Fashola said he presented three memoranda to the Council that was approved, explaining that two of the memoranda 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 there was a problem with the steel-reinforced drain discovered there.
Fashola said: “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 to remove all the old steel drains that are corroded and replace 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.
“The second memorandum relates to the road infrastructure tax credit scheme. You recall 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.
“Do you recall that I had briefed you here about the use of that policy like the Dangote Group from Obajana to Kabba, Apapa to Oworoshoki?
“Earlier this year, there were five other roads, the Kaduna Western bypass, the Lekki Port road, the road from Shagamu through Papalanto and a couple of others and there is one road in Maiduguri. That was approved about N320 something billion.