President Muhammadu Buhari signed a new Executive Order 007 on Friday, permitting private companies to fund the construction of major road projects in the six geo-political zones of the country.

The companies, according to the President, will get 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.

Speaking while signing Order 007, Buhari said, “Today’s event marks another milestone in changing the narrative that has dogged past efforts at developing critical road infrastructure nationwide. Pursuant to the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, 19 eligible road projects are to be undertaken by six leading manufacturing and construction firms, located in 11 states, and in each of the six geo-political zones.

“Through this 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. We shall ensure complete transparency in these set-offs.

“I call on other local and international investors, as well as the state governments, to embrace this road infrastructure development scheme.

“I personally invite you to submit viable proposals for more road projects, such that, in time, the scope of this initiative will cover all 36 states of the Federation.”

Buhari admitted that funding infrastructure had become a burden the government alone could no longer bear, a reason for the new initiative.

He added that the search for funding sources was also the reason the government established the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund in February 2018, using the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority to invest in roads and power projects like the 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, East-West Road, Abuja-Kano Road, and the Mambila Hydroelectric Power Project.

He added, “To date, N71bn of funding of this N2.5tn initiative has come from the NSIA, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Dividend Account, the Federal Budget, as well as counterpart funds from China Exim, China Development Banks, and other development partners.

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