The Federal Government has restated its commitment to the speedy completion and delivery of all roads financed under the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) Tax Credit Scheme.
Director of Highways, Construction and Rehabilitation, Folorunso Esan, stated this during the inspection of phases I and II of the Suleja-Minna Highway and reconstruction of the expanded Lambata-Lapai-Bida Road in Niger State being financed under the NNPC Tax Credit Scheme.
Esan said the Federal Government has released adequate fund to the contractors through the governance process established to ensure prompt delivery of the projects, adding that no contractor has any reason not to deliver the projects as scheduled.
The Guardian recalled that during the presentation of cheque for the 21 roads by the NNPC on December 21, 2021, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said a governance process was being put in place and that required the ministry to do certification of the job certificates within five days.
He added on that occasion that as soon as the certificates were certified, they would be escalated to the NNPC, which would be required to pay the contractors within 30 days and that the staff of the ministry had certain number of days within which to act to certify the certificates.
Fashola also assured that all the unpaid certificates that were in existence before the scheme was approved and all the certificates that budget provisions were inadequate to pay would be paid, as from the contract signing with the NNPC.
He added that there would be money to pay the contractors, who would in turn pay their suppliers of construction materials in the chain of distribution of wealth across the divide.
Esan, however, assured of speedy completion and delivery of the project, as scheduled despite the heavy vehicular movement on the roads, noting that inadequate funding, which used to be a major challenge had been resolved through the NNPC Tax Credit Scheme, as the Corporation would fund the road projects to their completion.
He added that the expansion of the Suleja-Minna Road, which was to be completed in January 2024, would be completed earlier due to the availability of funds.
On the Bida-Lapai-Lambata Road, Federal Controller of Works, Niger State, Engineer Samotu Moshood, explained that 46kms amounting to 36 per cent of the work has been completed and before the rainy season commences, the work would have extended to Lapai, which would be additional 60kms, and the extension would continue to Agaie, another 80kms before the end of 2022.