The Federal Executive Council has approved the construction of roads in Plateau and Kwara States, North-Central Nigeria, worth over twenty billion naira.
Minister of Works Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola disclosed this to State House Correspondents at the end of Wednesday’s meeting of the Council, presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
“The Ministry presented two memoranda to Council, the first was with respect to approval for the construction of Pankshin-Balang-Yeleng-Gindiri road in Plateau State for N10.4 billion and the second one was with respect to Shaare-Patigi road in Kwara State, for N10.2 billion and both were approved by Council,” he said.
Fashola said when completed, the roads will guarantee free movement for both people and goods in the two States as well as improve the economies of the areas.
The Works Minister announced that government has been able to recover the sum of N119 billion through legal means.
He said the money was an inherited liability form the old Ministry of Power, where a judgement of N119 billion had been signed against the Federal governement, as a result of the carelessness of some officials of governement who varied a Presidential approval without seeking further directives from the then President and went ahead to award a contract on that basis.
“The party involved, who lost the contract, went to court and got a judgement against governement but we have been able to avert that liability of over N119 billion. We have also gotten control of governement money up to N37 billion that we can now use under an agreement, to procure more pre-paid meters. The next stage now is investigation and the Acting President has directed that that should be channelled to the appropriate agencies,” he said.
Minister of Industry, trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah said the meeting also gave approval for the amendment of the list of pioneer industries and products.
“The Federal Executive Council also gave approval to a memorandum that was presented to amend the list of pioneer industries and products that will enjoy pioneer status going forward,” he said.
Dr Enelamah said the pioneer incentive scheme, governed by the Industrial Development Income Tax Relieve Act, which will afford a tax holiday of between three and five years, to enable such industries boost their activities and grow.
“This doesn’t deprive us of revenue but rather help us to gain revenue. It’s basically an incentive to make people enter the market, enter new industries and invest more. If you make a new investment in any of those sectors where we haven’t reached maturity, we will welcome those investments and we will make sure that we welcome those investments and you will be allowed a tax holiday of between three to five years, to encourage you for the investments you have made, after which you will pay your taxes regularly,” the Minister stated.
For his side, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu said the Council approved a plan for his Ministry, which will go a long way to help the country develope.
“What Council did today has not been done since we became an independent nation. This is a revolution in the making, No single nation that has done well that did not take this route. What we intend to do is, we are taking some measures which we cannot ignore, looking at our circumstance. What we are proposing is that if you are thinking of a project, form the very beginning, and we don’t have any Nigerian firm that can do it, we will call for tenders and be looking for a foreign firm that will do it for us,” he explained.
He said when such firms are engaged, they will be working with a Nigerian firm or agency that will then tap from the foreign firm.