The Integrity Youth Alliance, on Wednesday, threw its weight behind the plan by Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to reconstruct 21 federal roads across the ix geopolitical zones.
The National Coordinator of the group, Kelvin Adegbenga, gave the support in a statement released in Abuja titled: ‘Why South-South Study Group Nescience Should Be Ignored.”
Adegbenga acknowledged that though the Ministry of Works and Housing is mandated on road construction or reconstruction, the Executive Order No. 007 on Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, 2019, had given corporate organisations, like NNPC Limited, the power to support the Federal Government on provision of adequate public infrastructure for citizens.
He, therefore, condemned South-South Study Group (3SG) for kicking against the N621.2 billion tax debt by the NNPC Limited for the reconstruction of the 21 roads.
“It is unfair and unjust for South-South Study Group to fume over the timely Intervention of the NNPC Limited without comparing the costing in tandem with the kilometres of the road to be fixed.
“The South-South Study Group should rather call on their state governors and the Niger Delta Development Commission to sit up by concentrating more on developing the Niger Delta region in line with its vision; to offer a lasting solution to the socio-economic difficulties of the Niger Delta region.
“It is on record that the Buhari administration is achieving lots in road rehabilitation and reconstruction through the establishment of the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), in 2018, to fast-track the completion of critical infrastructure projects.
“In addition, President Buhari, in January 2019, signed Executive Order 7 (the Companies Income Tax Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme) which is aimed at attracting PPP financing for road construction across Nigeria.
“It was through this laudable scheme that infrastructural funding is sourced from the Sukuk Bond,” he said.
Adegbenga noted that with this, the administration identified and marked out 63 roads across the country, including 44 federal highways.
“These roads which linked up trade, commerce, port, and agricultural centres across the six geopolitical zones of the country were classified under Critical Economic Routes and Agricultural Routes, and accorded budgetary priority,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had, recently, approved N621.2 billion for the NNPC to take over the reconstruction of 21 federal roads across the six geopolitical zones of the country.