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Tax credit certificates valued at N22.321 billion have been issued to Dangote Cement Plc by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
They (certificates) are for the construction of the Apapa-Oworonsoki-Ojota Highway in Lagos and the Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba road straddling Kogi and Kwara states.
Dangote Cement Plc is financing the reconstruction of the roads sub-contracted to Hi-Tech and Julius Berger construction companies. According to FIRS’ Executive Chairman Muhammad Nami, the gesture was to compensate the cement manufacturer in tax payment waiver.
Nami, who was represented by Coordinating Director, Tax Operations Group, Mr. Femi Oluwaniyi, gave the clarification in Abuja on Wednesday when he presented the two tax credit certificates to the company.
The certificates for the Apapa-Oworoshoki-Ojota Expressway is valued at N21.6 billion while the tax credit certificate for the Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba Expressway is valued at N721 million. Yesterday was the second time the FIRS will be issuing tax credit certificate to Dangote on the Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba Highway reconstruction.
The agency had early given N9.5 billion tax credit certificate to the cement company in 2019. Nami said: “The 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 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.
“Issuing tax credit certificates was introduced following the signing of Executive Order 07 of 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari. The Orderis about road infrastructure tax credit.
“What that entails is that companies are encouraged to develop infrastructure around them as long as it will enhance their delivery, their business not to take over the responsibility of the government because it will ultimately impact on the immediate environment, the government is supposed to take care of.”
Group Executive Director (Govenment and Stakeholders Relations) Ahmed Mansur spoke for Dangote Cement Plc.
He said: “It is true that the responsibility of providing public services and public facilities like roads and electricity and so on is that of the state but in today’s modern state it is not possible to encompass every service that the public requires even if the states have the funds.
“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.”
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