The Federal Government says Nigeria currently produces about five million tonnes of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) annually and only eight per cent of the production is being utilised domestically, with the bulk being exported.
It says domestic LPG production stands at about 45 per cent of annual consumption, with Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NL supplying 450,000 metric tonnes per annum while 55 per cent is imported.
Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters in the Office of the Vice President made this known on Wednesday at the India-Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Summit Abuja, 2022. The India-Nigeria LPG summit was hosted by Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) with the support of the Office of the Vice President and World LPG Association (WLPGA).
The summit is expected to translate into bilateral exchanges to foster mutual collaboration and opportunities for the Nigerian LPG industry to learn from India’s experience, one of the world’s most successful National LPG penetration initiatives.
In a keynote address, Dipeolu said Nigeria had the ninth largest proven natural gas reserves in the world, and also the second largest producer of LPG in Africa after Algeria.
“LPG adoption in the Nigerian market, of course, is still very low with per capita consumption at about 1.8 kg, which is below the West African average.
“The household energy mix in Nigeria is about five per cent LPG, 65 per cent biomass and 30 per cent kerosene.
“The preference for the use of other sources is largely due to high switching costs associated with the acquisition of cylinders and LPG stoves, lack of awareness of associated benefits and safe LPG handling across consumer basis.
“There is also the high cost of LPG in comparison with alternative fuels, insufficient and inappropriate cylinders in circulation and inadequate infrastructure, especially trucks, roads, rail pipelines and plants,” he said.
He said the predominant use of biomass for household cooking resulted in deforestation and ambient air pollution, which also could lead to death due to stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and chronic respiratory diseases.
The Presidential Aide underscored the imperative for policies, incentives and investment to grow the Nigerian LPG market.
This, he said, would make cleaner fuel available, accessible and affordable, not only for household cooking, but also in autogas, captive power generation, heating and cooling as well as agriculture and industry.
He expressed optimism that Nigeria would learn from Indian’s experience with the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) scheme implemented by the Indian Government in May 2016 such that LPG penetration in that country increased from 62 per cent to 100 per cent currently.
He said the theme of the summit, `Energising the Future: Leveraging the Indian Experience to Achieve Nigerian National LPG Aspiration’ underscored the need for cooperation and collaboration between the two countries.
Dipeolu said the cooperation should dwell on policy structures; health, safety and environmental methods and standards, ICT, infrastructure management techniques, stakeholder engagement and innovative programmes to incentivise Nigerian LPG market growth.
According to him, the recently enacted PIA specifically provides enablers for robust midstream and downstream gas development through promotion of policies, incentives and wavers to stimulate investments.
Others, he said, included removal of VAT on domestic LPG, presidential waiver on duty imported LPG equipment, tax holiday on new investment on gas and approval of eight new LPG terminals and storage facilities to add 150,000 metric tonnes gas capacity.
The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), has shared N673.137 billion to the three tiers of government as federation allocation for August.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Phil Abiamuwe-Mowete, the Director on Friday.
The Federal Government received N259.641 billion, the states received N222.949 billion, and the Local Government Councils got N164.247 billion.
The N673.137 billion was inclusive of Gross Statutory Revenue, Value Added Tax (VAT), and an Augmentation of Non Oil Excess Revenue.
The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting indicated that the Gross Revenue available from the VAT for August was N215.266 billion.
The amount was an increase distributed in the preceding month.
“The distribution is as follows: Federal Government got N32.290 billion, the States received N107.633 billion, Local Government Councils got N75.343 billion.
The communique said the Gross Statutory Revenue of N437.871 billion distributed was lower than the sum received in the previous month.
This is from which the Federal Government was allocated the sum of N216.815 billion, states got N109.972 billion, LGCs got N84.783 billion, and Oil Derivation (13 per cent mineral revenue) got N26.301 billion.
“Also, the N20 billion Augmentation of Non Oil Excess Revenue now converted to distributable revenue was shared to the three tiers of government as follows; the Federal Government received N10.536 billion, states got N5.344 billion, LGCs received N4.120 billion.
” The communiqué further said that VAT, Import and Excise Duties recorded significant increases, while Companies Income Tax (CIT), Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), Oil and Gas Royalties decreased considerably.
It was further disclosed that total revenue distributable for the current month of August was drawn from Statutory Revenue of N437.871 billion, and VAT of N215.266 billion.
The revenue was also drawn from N20 billion Augmentation of Non Oil Excess Revenue which brought the total distributable for the month to N673.137 billion.
However, the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA), as at Sept. 23 stands at 470,599.54 million dollars.
President Muhammadu Buhari has described the United States as Nigeria’s main trading partner and one of ‘‘our most important diplomatic partners.
’’ This, he said, underscored the need for concerted efforts to increase the volume of bilateral trade.
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman in a statement, said Buhari atated this at a meeting with the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum, The meeting was held on the margins of the 77th UN General Assembly in New York, on Thursday.
The Nigerian leader told the gathering that in 2020, Nigeria exported over $1.69 billion worth of goods to the US, adding that these exports were primarily made up of crude oil and other petroleum products.
”Nigeria’s capability is not just limited to the oil and gas industry, but variety of other sectors that hold notable potentials.
”We are the largest economy in Africa and have over 200 million-strong consumer market that is home to a range of attractive opportunities in sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, light manufacturing, infrastructure development and technology.
”The beauty of this forum is that the Ministers responsible for all of these sectors are here today, as are some of Nigeria’s premier business leaders who are already excelling in these spaces, ” he said.
According to Buhari, Nigeria is open to deepening collaboration with BCIU, and pledged this administration’s continued commitment to maintain an enabling business environment that is friendly to foreign investors.
”Going into partnerships with trusted local and foreign partners who have well-established networks and understand the dynamics of the country is one way to guarantee success in Nigeria.
”Today’s event provides a platform for businesses under the BCIU umbrella to make connections with credible Nigerian partners.
”I trust that this event will help build partnerships that will translate into increased trade and investment flows between Nigeria and the United States,” he said.
Apprising the business executives on the current Administration’s economic policy, Buhari said since 2015, the focus had been on economic diversification.
”And successfully, ”the economy is on a path of sustainable and inclusive growth through an open, rules-based and market-oriented way of doing business.
” The president emphasised that his major objectives for the forum was to garner support from the BCIU for two of Nigeria’s most high-impact developmental ambitions: ”Driving strategic and financial investment into Nigeria’s real-sector transformation, and rightly positioning Nigeria as a major international supply-chain partner to leading global economies like the United States.
” According to the president, global supply chains are currently facing a challenging time as U.
S. shippers have been under strain caused by reduced inputs from China and the growing backlog of European imports caused by the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
He added that the world had not fully recovered from the economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and this had taught everyone the importance of having viable alternatives when ”traditional supply chains are unable to serve our needs.
” He said: ”The current global challenges are expected to continue into 2023 and beyond, but Nigeria is ready to fill a greater amount of global demand.
”We are leveraging on our skilled labour-force, strategic location, as well as production and manufacturing potential to move forward as a key trading partner to the United States.
”I have always held the strong conviction that there is no crisis without an accompanying opportunity and solution.
”Increased collaboration with Nigeria and other developing markets is needed to mitigate against both current and potential future supply-chain challenges.
” He expressed confidence that the situation in the world today presented an opportunity for real sector investment in Nigeria.
The president noted that since signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, Nigeria had strengthened its position as a gateway to an integrated continental market, consisting of 1.3 billion consumers with an aggregate GDP of $3.4 trillion.
Further, he stated that the administration had focused strongly on developing Nigeria’s manufacturing sector, and given the country’s enormous natural resources.
However, according to him, technological partnership is needed to transform this natural endowment into high value goods.
”To drive forward our manufacturing and production capacity, we have developed 17 operational Special Economic Zones with four more currently under construction.
”Fourteen of these are general economic zones which support export processing, large-scale manufacturing, warehousing, logistic services, tourism, food processing and packaging as well as technology development; ”The remaining three are dedicated to oil & gas related activities.
”We have furthermore commenced the development of three automotive Industrial Parks that encourage the local assembly of vehicles for the Pan-African market.
” Buhari also used the occasion to list fiscal investment incentives formulated to encourage increased private capital inflows into Nigeria.
They include: ”Three to five years of tax holidays for enterprises in what we deem pioneer industries; ”Tax-free operations and no restrictions on expatriate quotas in our Free Trade Zones; capital allowances for agriculture, manufacturing and engineering; and a VAT regime of 5 percent; among others.
” The president of the Republic of The Gambia, Adama Barrow was a Special Guest at the event.
The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami says the mandate of the service is to collect taxes due to the federation and the Federal Government.
Nami, in a statement issued in Abuja by his Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Johannes Wojuola, said that FIRS did not grant tax waivers to any taxpayer in the country.
He was reacting to some media reports that some companies including Dangote, Sinotruck Limited, Lafarge, Honeywell, were granted tax waiver on pioneer status between 2019 and 2021 in the sum of N16 trillion by the FIRS and other agencies.
According toNami, FIRS does not have the power or responsibility of facilitating or implementing tax waivers to investors in Nigeria.
“There are relevant agencies of government that are charged with such responsibility,” he said.
Nami, however, said that the Service was not unmindful of the objectives of granting tax waivers to investors.
“This includes helping to grow local companies, stimulate economic growth and earn investors’ confidence.
“I am confident that the companies which are now enjoying tax breaks will eventually exit shortly and begin to pay taxes to the Federal Government.
“This is as it is currently being done by the companies that have equally enjoyed such tax breaks in the past and are now paying taxes in hundreds of billions of naira.
“Such companies will continue to pay taxes to the government so long as they remain in business.
” Nami further said that the companies enjoying the pioneer status would be exempted from paying only the direct taxes from their profits.
“But will continue to act as agents of collecting and remitting Indirect Taxes (VAT, WHT) in the ordinary course of their operations,’’ he said.
He emphasised that FIRS remained focused on the task of achieving its mandate of assessing, collecting and accounting for taxes due to the federation and the Federal Government.
“This task is challenging, more so at this time of global economic disruption occasioned by the Russia-Ukraine war and the pandemic.
“However, the management is steadfast in achieving the target set for it by the Federal Government.
“For instance, in 2021, the Service surpassed its target by collecting an unprecedented amount of N6.4 trillion in taxes.
“So far this year, the Service is poised to perform even better than its record for 2021,” he said.
Nami urged stakeholders to join hands with the Service to improve the nation’s economy.
FG recovered N2.6trn revenue from oil coys – NEITI FG recovered N2.6trn revenue from oil coys – NEITI Recovery By Emmanuella Anokam Abuja, Sept. 14, 2023 The Federal Government has recovered a total of N2.6 Trillion revenue from oil firms following the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) National Assembly intervention.
NEITI said a total of 2.6 billion dollars remained outstanding in the hands of companies as at March 2022. Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary of NEITI, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at its Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and media engagement on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) validation.
The EITI validation, which is conducted every three years is a quality assurance mechanism to ascertain level of compliance and progress in implementing its standards among member countries, including Nigeria.
Orji said NEITI’s financial report led to the recovery of the debt.
“By the time we release 2021 report, any company owing Nigeria we have no choice than to invite EFCC to take over and handle it as an economic crime,” he said.
He said the recovery was as a result of NEITI’s appearance at the National Assembly to defend its position based on data it provided.
Recently, NEITI released 2019 reports which included list of 77 oil and gas companies that owed the government up to 6.8 billion dollars.
The National Assembly had summoned the organisation to come and defend it by showing how it arrived at that.
According to Orji, as soon as it released the 2020 report to prove that, the companies that wanted their names protected were rushing to the relevant agencies to pay up.
He revealed that from 77 companies, they number decreased to 51 companies and the amount came down to 3.6 billion dollars.
“Which shows that from the point we released that information a lot of money came in.
None of them disputed our report rather they were giving excuses why they did not pay.
“The money include all taxes and VAT being collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and all royalties being collected by the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).
“NEITI collects nothing, all we are asking is for us to be recognised and offered thank you,” he said.
He said that through NEITI, there had been increased demand, easy access and availability of verified information and data in the public domain.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration should take credit on doing well on extractives sector reforms.
“The content of our up to date reports is very incisive and is shaping public debates,” the executive secretary said.
The Senate and quest for good governance, accountabilityThe Senate and quest for good governance, accountability By Kingsley Okoye, News Agency of Nigeria Since the return to civil rule in 1999, Nigeria’s journey to good governance has continued to evolve with positive and sometimes, not very palatable legislative narratives.
The legislature which is one of the pillars of democracy not only makes laws but also ensures accountability in public spending.
Although the parliament has received commendation for its strides in the delivery of dividends of democracy, observers say that the two chambers of the National Assembly, the Senate and House of Representatives, can do better given some incidents that have taken place over the years.
With particular reference to the Senate, some political analysts say they are uncomfortable with some of the unpleasant narratives that have emanated from the red chamber over the years.
Since the latest democratic experience, the Senate has produced numerous legislations that testify to its contributions as a bastion of democracy in the nation.
Some observers of developments in the nation’s political scene disagree and point out that, for instance, several probes of government Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) through the Senate Public Accounts Committee have not produced expected results.
Some of the recent high profile probes are that of the N1.05 billion Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom and the N61.1 billion Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
For instance, Mr Imohimi Onogie, an Abuja-based criminal expert and law lecturer, said the Senate probes have not been effective because they often give culprits opportunity for unnecessary defence.
“Imagine, the Senate committee on the Oron probe asking the rector to go and bring details.
The fact that the rector and others parties appeared before the probe panel with little details make them culpable,” he said.
Similarly, a recent media report quoted Mr Seun Lawal, a political analyst, as saying that the Senate should demonstrate that it is capable of ensuring that those entrusted with public resources are held accountable.
Having virtually eliminated Legislature-Executive friction which has hampered governance in the past, the Senate insists that it has the created the environment to effectively discharge its duties.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said that the 9th Senate has fared well in promoting accountability and transparency in public spending, adding that probes remain only one of the numerous functions of the Senate.
At its second anniversary session in June 2021, Lawan in a speech entitled “Beholding the Silver Lining in Nigeria”, said the Senate has shown exceptional patriotism in seeking solutions to challenges facing Nigeria.
“The 9th Senate has also aligned with the executive in the fight against corruption, because the malaise has been a bane in our development efforts.
“The achievements we made in transparency and accountability are reflected in our dutiful oversight functions, the exposure of inordinate practices during public hearings, and budget defenses and in seeking clarifications for hazy expenditures and procurements, are feats that we have to sustain, to harness the longer-term benefits,” Lawan said.
The cumulative effect of these interventions, according to Lawan, is that Nigeria moved out of recession in the last quarter of 2020 with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 0.51 per cent in real terms in the first quarter of 2021; and improved job opportunities for youths.
The Senate President said through national assembly legislative duties, jobs have been created, citing the N-Power approval which produced over 500,000 employment opportunities for Nigerians in the last two years alone.
According to him, 742 bills were introduced into the 9th Senate in the last two years, out of which 58 have been passed, while 355 bills have sailed through first reading.
He said 175 bills have also gone through second reading and are before relevant committees for further legislative actions.
Notable among the bills are deep offshore and inland basin production sharing contracts act 2004 (amendment bill, 2009); the finance bill 2019 (Nigeria Tax and Fiscal Law) (SB.
The latter saw the amendment of seven existing tax laws and the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap C20 LFN 2004 (Repeal and Reenactment) Bill 2019 (SB.
270), have also been passed.
He said the deep offshore and inland basin production sharing contract act amendment bill, 2019, passed by the Senate and had since received presidential assent would increase revenue accruing from International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the country from 150 million dollars to 1.5 billion dollars annually.
Other bills recently passed by the Senate to drive and accelerate national development are the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the Electoral Act, Electricity Bill 2022, National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2022 to ensure universal health coverage for 83 million Nigerians among other bills.
Lawan’s position is supported by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs; Sen. Ajibola Basiru in a recent statement said the 9th Senate has been proactive in discharging its duties.
Basiru said the Red Chamber had helped to provide a window for the Federal Government to realise at least N320 billion by amending a relevant oil sector Bills.
He said the Senate took deliberate steps towards improving revenues from other sources notably Value Added Tax (VAT).
“Accordingly, it passed an Executive Bill which proposed an increase in VAT from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent in record time by invoking its powers under Order 79(1) of the Senate Standing Rules.
“Another laudable and progressive intervention was the extensive work done on the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract (Amendment) Act 2019, to repeal and replace Section 16 of the Act,” he said.
According to him, the agenda entitled: “A National Assembly that Works for Nigeria” significantly serves as the guide for both Chambers of the National Assembly.
He said the passing of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), now Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) has given a definitive legal framework for the oil and gas sector.
According to the Convener, Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room and Country Director, Acton Aid Nigeria, Mrs Ene Obi, said the Senate has done well in the discharge of its responsibilities, especially in promoting electoral reforms through the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. She said that Civil Society Organisations were committed to working with the National Assembly in promoting good governance and accountability.
Dr Romanus Okoro, a Financial Analyst and an anti-corruption crusader urged the Senate, through its Public Account Committee, to re-introduce and pass the Federal Audit Bill. Okoro said the passage of the bill would further engender national development as recurring issues of financial impropriety in expenditure of MDAs and other forms of corruption would be checked.
According to him the bill will empower the office of Auditor General for the Federation to independently check financial corruption in MDAs, deepen transparency and block financial leakages.
Okoro believes the law would help address cases of recurring inability of MDAs to provide factual responses to queries on their expenditures raised by the audit reports at public hearings of the Public Account Committee of the Senate.
Ahead of their Sept. 22 resumption date and less than one year to the inauguration of a new Senate, observers say the 9th Senate has performed well though there is still enough time to contribute more to the development of the nation.
****If used please credit the author and News Agency of Nigeria
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says the aggregate Value Added Tax (VAT) was reported at N600.15 billion for Q2 2022. This is according to the VAT Q2 2022 Report released in Abuja on Saturday.
According to the report, this shows a growth rate of 1.96 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter basis from N588.59 billion in Q1 2022. The report said the local payments recorded were N359.12 billion, while foreign VAT payments contributed N111.13 billion in Q2 2022. It said on a quarter-on-quarter basis, electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply recorded the highest growth rate with 116.47 per cent, followed by accommodation and food service activities with 42.44 per cent “On the other hand, activities of extraterritorial organisations and bodies had the lowest growth rate with 42.39 per cent.
“This was followed by activities of households as employers, undifferentiated goods- and services-producing activities of households for own use with 36.57 per cent.
” In terms of sectoral contributions, the report showed the top three largest shares in Q2 2022 were Manufacturing with 33.08 per cent, information and communication with 18.98 per cent, and mining and quarrying with 10.60 per cent.
“On the other hand, activities of households as employers, undifferentiated goods- and services-producing activities of households for own use recorded the least share with 0.03 per cent.
“This was followed by activities of extraterritorial organisations and bodies with 0.05 per cent; and water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities with 0.13 per cent.
” The report, however, said, on a year-on-year basis, VAT collections in Q2 2022 increased by 17.16 per cent from Q2 2021.
Marking an auspicious halfway point for the 2022 MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Conference & Expo (https://bit.ly/3a4fuRb) and triumphantly closing the event's first day of programming, gala dinner and awards ceremony saw West Africa's leading energy figures come together for a night of celebration and recognition.
During the two-hour reception, event organizer Energy Capital & Power (ECP)(https://EnergyCapitalPower.com) presented four awards to MSGBC pioneers and trailblazers, who have made substantial contributions to innovation, sustainability and transformation throughout the basin.
With the energy transition at the forefront of regional debates, and the need for a just and equitable transition affirmed by ten West African energy ministers (https://bit.ly/3wQfv41) earlier in the day, the Prize for Renewable energy.
to HE Macky Sall, President of Senegal and President of the African Union, after his opening speech.
Under the leadership of President Sall, Senegal has surpassed its goal of deriving a third of its national grid supply from renewable energy, as well as eliminating VAT on solar panels and associated technologies.
Meanwhile, the Innovation Award was presented to HE Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, Secretary General of the African Organization of Petroleum Producers, who was among the main keynote speakers of the morning and will return on the second day for the closing ministerial conference.
"Africa's Energy Future".
The Oil Project Award, given to Australian operator Woodside as the company behind Senegal's $4.8 billion Sangomar project, which is the first world-class oil development in the region and is scheduled to start production in mid-2023.
Next, the Gas Project Award went to supermajor bp as operator of the $4.6 billion Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) development, the first phase of which will deliver first gas by the end of 2023, with initial production of 2.5 million tons of LNG.
The project is now fast approaching a final investment decision for its second phase of development, which is expected to double production capacity to five million tons of LNG per year.
Completing the evening's accolades was the Young Professionals Award, given to the most dedicated and promising student from Senegal's Institut National du Pétrole et du Gaz (INPG): Fatimata Agne Fall. With local journalist and TV presenter Oumy Ndour as MC, the evening's festivities concluded with the formal thanks and recognition of the attending ministers with their own trophies, including the respective dignitaries from Senegal, Mauritania, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone.
As the gala dinner and awards ceremony drew to a close, it is this narrative of celebration, mutual collaboration and shared ambition that continues on day two of the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Conference & Exhibition, as international oil executives and NOC heads, investors and analysts, ministers and more join in and engage in another day of discussions, negotiation, knowledge sharing and partnership.
Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, on Thursday urged the European Union (EU) to take responsibility to manage the skyrocketing energy prices that had reached an unsustainable level in recent weeks.
“It is only at (the) European level that we will succeed in reducing prices.
Only Europe can achieve this,” he said.
The federal government and the representatives of Belgium’s federated entities met in Brussels in a Consultation Committee (CODECO).
They managed to come up with additional measures to deal with soaring energy prices at national level and at the same time calling on the EU to assume its responsibilities.
De Croo has, therefore, started talks with Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, to study possibilities of reducing energy prices.
“Since March, our country has been pleading for measures to be taken on gas prices, and in particular to achieve a freeze on gas prices,” De Croo said.
He added that von der Leyen announced at the beginning of the week that an emergency mechanism would be put in place to lower energy prices.
In view of the rising energy prices, CODECO has decided to extend all the support measures already in force until March 31, 2023. These include a six per cent VAT reduction on gas and electricity, reduction of excise duties on fuel, and extension of social tariffs and fuel vouchers to target groups.
Among other measures announced, the public authorities will lower heating, reduce the use of air conditioning and turn off the lights in every building.
The Belgian prime minister also called for the responsibility of every citizen to reduce their energy consumption.
In addition, negotiations, which aims to obtain from banks deferral of the mortgage payment, are also underway with the financial sector to help some people with higher energy bills.
Negotiations with the financial sector in financing energy-saving measures are also underway.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday inaugurated the Gombe-Kaltungo road project and handed it over to Gombe State Government.
Speaking at the inauguration in Kumo, headquarters of Akko Local Government Area of the state, Buhari recalled that the contract was awarded in 2014. Represented by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, the president said the length of the road was 66.10 km and the carriage way is 7.35 mtr while the shoulder was 2.73 mtr.
He said the project contract which was conceptualised around 2014, but the work did not commence until 2015. ‘’This was because after the commencement two major issues were discovered that caused the project to be delayed until they were sorted out.
‘’Yhe first issue was, so many components were left and the second was VAT, hence the project reviewed’’.
He said the project was supposed to be completed in 2019 but insufficient budgetary provision and release of fund as well as COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for the present admintration to complete it at the stipulated time.
The president advised the citizens of Gombe to take ownership of the project.
’’Sometimes we have misconception that any infrastructure project is for government.
‘’We need to remind ourselves that you and I are the government, peoples remain while government come and go,’’ he said.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said this was the sixth of the second phase of road project completion and handover the country was witnessing.
Represented by Mr Celestine Shausu, Director Highways, North East, Federal Ministry of Works, said the project represent major investment in road transport infrastructure which was a commitment of Buhari’s administration as a driver of economic growth and prosperity.
‘’They are visible and incontrovertible asset in proof of what Nigeria’s resources were invested in, from our earned and borrowings,’’ he said.
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State said the road was inaugursted as a commitment and fulfillment of the president’s conditions and terms on which he engaged the people of Nigeria to provide the basic amenities they required.
“The people of Gombe are very happy because they can now ply this road from Gombe up to Yolde which is our boundary with Adamawa State without any problem.
‘’We will like to urge and plead with Mr President for the timely completion of Numan to Jalingo road in Adamawa and Taraba States, which have been a nightmare to travelers,” the governor appealed.