Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has issued Dangote Cement Plc, tax credit certificates valued at N22.321 billion.
The tax credit certificates were for the construction of Apapa-Oworonshoki-Ojota road in Lagos and the Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba road connecting Kogi and Kwara States in the country’s northcentral region.
While Julius Berger is handling the construction of the two federal roads, Dangote Cement Plc is providing the funds.
The credit certificates issued to Dangote is a waiver to cover the tax that Dangote Cement would have paid.
The FIRS’ Executive Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Nami, gave the clarification in Abuja yesterday while presenting the two tax credit certificates to Dangote Cement.
Nami was represented by the Coordinating Director, Tax Operations Group, FIRS, Mr. Femi Oluwaniyi.
The tax credit certificates for the Apapa-Oworoshoki-Ojota expressway is valued at N21.6 billion while that of Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba expressway is valued at N721 million.
This is the second tax credit certificate the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) will issue to Dangote for the Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba road construction.
A N9.5 billion tax credit certificate had earlier in 2019 been awarded to Dangote Cement for the Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba road.
Nami said: “Government came to that reasoning that if we could encourage local investors to do the needful and of course under an agreement with some due monitoring and approvals then some of the monies they would have accrued back to government as taxes, they would have paid.
“It will be in the interest of the government that other investors, business entrepreneurs, companies take advantage of this key initiative such that Nigeria can develop faster than the government would have done alone.
“We are hoping that this arrangement will be taken to another level, we are also believing that this will spur other business players out there to come and take advantage of it.”
The issuance of tax credit certificates followed the signing of Executive Order 07 of 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari, which is on road infrastructure tax credit.
The order encourages companies to develop infrastructure around their operational area as long as it will enhance their delivery and their businesses.
Receiving the tax credit certificates on behalf of Dangote Cement Plc, the Group Executive Director, GovernmentGovenment and Stakeholders Relations, Ahmed Mansur, said while it was true that the responsibility of providing public services and public facilities like roads and electricity, among others, was that of the state, the prevailing economic realities had made that difficult to achieve.
He added: “To do it at the same time within the time that the public requires is often not possible and I think it is this kind of thing that has generated the need for the state to engage private actors to participate in the process.”
Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja