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Nigeria Plans N3.53 Trillion For Infrastructure And Human Capital Development — Finance Minister

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Kingsley U.N. Chikwendu —

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, yesterday in the nation’s capital, Abuja, during a town hall meeting put together by the Ministry of Information and Culture on the achievements of the Federal Government on infrastructural development, said an estimated N3.53 trillion has been earmarked to be spent on infrastructure and human capital development in 2022.

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The minister added that the country’s economy estimated to be over $400 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a population size of nearly 200 million persons remain the largest in the continent.

Ahmed also stated that the huge and growing population has both economic opportunities and challenges, in light of constrained revenue proceeds brought by several multi-dimensional factors, including the global pandemic and its impact on the domestic economy and against the backdrop of these challenges, the current administration has successfully implemented a range of infrastructural programmes that have had positive impacts on the lives of the people.

While reiterating that quality infrastructure is important, not only to engender and accelerate economic growth, but also to ensure and enhance inclusive growth for all within a nation space, she recalled that the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme (RITCS), launched in 2019 to leverage private sector capital and expertise to construct, repair and maintain critical road infrastructure in key economic corridors and industrial clusters in Nigeria, the scheme was designed to complement and ameliorate the burden of funding significant capital outlays on road projects by the Federal Government.

She added that as a model, the scheme adopted the use of tax expenditures, via tax credits, to finance the construction of critical road and bridge infrastructure projects, while utilizing an innovative PPP mechanism aimed at incentivizing private sector participation and capital investments. 

“The Scheme commenced in 2019, with the president’s approval of 19 Road Projects covering 769.16 km and located in 11 states across the six geopolitical zones, she said.

“Subsequently, construction commenced with the reconstruction of the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki-Ojota Road in Lagos State (34 km), re-construction of Obajana-Kabba road (43km) in Kogi State – both invested in and undertaken by Dangote Industries Limited, while the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited undertook the construction of the Bodo-Bonny road and the bridges across the Opobo channel in Rivers state (40 km).

“Since the inception of the RITCS, the president has approved 14 additional roads, bringing the total to thirty-three (33) Road Projects, covering a total length of 1,564.95 km as of 2021. These additional projects are in 19 States across the six (6) geo-political zones in the country. In the last three years (2019 – 2021), about N78 billion worth of tax credits have been issued to investors under the RITCS.  In addition, the NNPC is to finance the construction of 21 roads across the country”.

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