Dangote hails road construction executive order; says impact will be ‘huge’
Business mogul, Aliko Dangote, says the Executive Order 007 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday will make businesses run smoothly and more profitably.
Africa’s richest man also said the new order, tagged Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, will reduce the cost of doing business in the country.
Dangote Group is one of six companies selected to construct 19 federal roads in the pilot phase of the new scheme.
The companies will enjoy tax credit to finance the construction of key economic roads.
Speaking with State House correspondents Friday after the signing ceremony, Mr Dangote said the impact is huge because “as we speak today all of you know the deplorable conditions of roads in Nigeria”.
“This order will allow private sector to use their capital, their knowhow and also their efficiency in terms of delivering roads in time.
“It is not going to be business as usual, when you look at Abuja-Lokoja that road started by the administration of President Obasanjo up till today is still ongoing, it might still be ongoing in the next five years because it is very difficult to deliver roads based on budgets,” he said.
Mr Dangote said based on the new order the Nigerian government will be saving billions of naira.
“As we speak now, what is going to happen for example by the government doing Apapa – Oshodi-Oworonshoki and Ojota roads?
“These roads alone will save people billions and billions of naira. I don’t know what other companies have lost but I think we, apart from losing a percentage of our profitability, we have actually lost more than N20 billion naira in the last one year paying demurrage because we have not been able to remove our goods from the ports,” he said?
Mr Dangote said the order will allow such firms “to quickly go and build that road, now you will not see trucks littered all over in Lagos, so this will help quite a lot”.
Mr Dangote also said the new order will also help other motorists who are using the roads.
He, however, said the government will need to do a lot more in marketing the new scheme.
“What this means is that you will advance your taxes. You know advancing taxes is not an easy job, but some of us will like to do that so that the infrastructure can be provided and it will help us to make more money in our businesses.”