Senate dumps FIRS on Tax Credit controversy

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THE Senate yesterday dumped stay of action position proposed to it by the Federal Inland Revenue Service ( FIRS) on  N2.7trillion Tax Credit Fund required for  specific road construction by the Federal Ministry of Works.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja during an interactive session with the Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Sani Musa,  APC, in Niger East who noted that fresh implementation of the policy outside the N2.7trillion should be halted for now, said “Tax Credit Policy is a welcome initiative meant for exigencies being addressed and based on submissions made by the Minister , the N2.7trillion , should be released for completion of Ongoing projects under the scheme.”

Recall that the Chairman,  Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS , Zacch  Adedeji , had during an interface with the Committee penultimate week , kicked against fresh N2.7trillion requested for by the Ministry of Works through the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited ( NNPCL) for funding of of roads projects under the Tax Credit Scheme .

But the Minister of Works , Senator David  Umahi in a counter argument made before the Committee yesterday said that the N2.7trillion was  not a fresh request but funding gap incurred as at January this year, just as he explained to the committee that the Tax Credit Scheme , has helped the Nation to get some critical roads across the country , rehabilitated or reconstructed within the last three years .

Umahi said, “Tax Credit simply means front loading of taxes of the affected agencies involved and using it for infrastructure development.

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“A very good example of it , was the Apapa – Oshodi Road , reconstructed by Dangote Plc under the scheme which not only solved the problem of congestion on the road but provided solid road that can last 50 years life span .

“It is the same road infrastructure solution the  N2.59trillion Tax Credits  being offered through  NNPCL is offering but not well funded yet.

” Only N650billion has been released through two batches for funding execution of the affected roads under the scheme ., making the N2.7trillion funding gap very necessary . We need the fund for completion of roads already started under the scheme”, he said .

The Minister  who noted that aside the scheme, the Ministry based on provisions made in the 2024 budget ,  has no concrete appropriations for road construction, said,  “2024 budgetary provisions  for  the Federal Ministry of works which are  slightly above a trillion Naira , are palliatives for road construction , the reason why the National Assembly should make substantial appropriation for road infrastructure across the country.

” In doing that , at least N4.4trillion , should be appropriated for 100kilometres road construction per each of the six geo – political zones.”

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