Executive Order 007 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, has been greeted with mixed reactions as private companies can now fund the construction of major road projects in the six geo-political zones of the country.
The companies, according to the President, will get a tax credit and reductions in return for their effort.
The new order is pursuant to the Federal Government’s “Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme,” a policy to source alternative funding for infrastructure, including road and electricity projects.
Lagos business news reports that going by the scheme, companies that are willing and able to spend their own funds on constructing roads to their factories or farms will recover their construction costs by paying reduced taxes over a period of time.
Consequently, Dangote Cement Plc was one of the two companies that made the first batch to receive their Tax Credit Certificates issued by Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in line with Executive Order Number 007.
It would be recalled that the Scheme is an initiative of the Federal Government to incentivise private investment of over N205 billion in critical roads and bridges nationwide, making the scheme a platform for encouraging private sector partnership and investment.
As such, the encouragement for private investment in the core Nigerian infrastructure development which is also in line with the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, Dangote Group had made a projection to expand its domestic revenue generation drive from $4billion to $30 billion annually from 2021, in a bid to boost the nation’s economy.
The projections by Dangote has attracted the government’s attention where Mrs Zainab S. Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, recently commended the group during an inspection of the Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals, Fertilizer Projects and the Deep-water Jetty at the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos.
Ahmed had pledged the government’s continued support for local businesses to thrive and attract investors.
According to her “Dangote Group is creating a large export industry that will help to bring in foreign exchange into the country reserves, and as a business, he will be growing his revenue base, confident that once Dangote Refinery commences operations, it will save Nigeria over $10 billion that Nigeria was spending on importing crude oil and it will also help us to build local capacity and create jobs,’’
Ahmed further said that the savings from such an investment would strengthen Nigeria’s macroeconomy to attract more investors, adding that the opportunities were good for the Dangote Group but would be better for Nigeria’s benefit at large.
In his address, Alhaji Dangote noted his firm’s adopted measures that would help it to expand its revenue base.
He said that the firm was ready to transform the nation’s domestic market by providing forex through expanded operations capacity of its group in the refinery, petrochemical, fertilizer and other supporting projects.