FG Begins Process For Highway Concenssions project

Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said that with the receipt of the Certificate of Compliance, the federal government is to officially commence the procurement process for the highway concessions under the Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI).

Fashola said this yesterday in Abuja at the presentation of certificate ceremony according to a statement by the director (press and public relations) Boade Akinola.

According to the minister, the HDMI would facilitate further development of Nigeria’s federal highway network by bringing in investment to improve efficiency, accountability, and profitable entrepreneurship to the operation, management, and maintenance of all assets within the right of way on the highways.

Fashola said the initiative had further affirmed the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment to infrastructure development funding which has been driven by the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme Order of 2018 , the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) being managed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the SUKUK Fund.

He noted that through such initiatives the federal government has been leveraging on private sector funding and participation in the development of critical infrastructure across the country and the HDMI is another innovation developed to attract the private sector.

The minister, who spoke at the official handover of the Certificate of Compliance by ICRC, explained that the HDMI was a fully home-grown idea that would deliver a safer and enjoyable travel experience for Nigerian road users as travel time would be shortened, cost reduced, and commercial activities stimulated.

Explaining further, he said the HDMI is an indigenous land value capture scheme conceived by the ministry to develop Nigeria’s network of federal highway corridors and boost economic development along the right of way adding that it would be executed in two parts comprising Value Added Concession (VAC) and Unbundled Assets Approval (UAA).

On the economic benefits, Fashola said: “Apart from infrastructure and assets development, thousands of jobs will be created for Nigerians as the initiative will open up the highway economy with opportunities in various economic activities including fabrication of gantries and directional signages with advertising opportunities, towing van operations and auto repair stations, operation of rest areas and emergency services, among others.”

He added: “ When fully operational road users will now enjoy first-class facilities on federal highways with directional signages, well-equipped rest areas, round-the-clock security patrol, and ambulance services for emergencies”.

Fashola commended the ICRC’s diligent appraisal of the initiative and for issuing Certificate of Compliance to the federal ministry of works and housing to proceed with the Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI).

In his welcome address the permanent secretary, federal minsitry of works and housing, Babangida Hussaini, said the development, expansion and maintenance of federal highways have increasingly become a Herculean task to government due to dwindling revenues and other compelling public service obliigaitons.

Earlier, the director-general of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Chidi Izuwah, represented by Joel Micheal Ohiani, who presented the certificate to the minister said that the initiative would enable private sector participation in the management and maintenance of road assets through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements.

LIRS Extends Deadline For Filing Of Annual Returns

In view of the challenges being experienced due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses within the state, the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has extended the filing of Employers’ Annual Returns by an additional two weeks.

According to a statement by the agency’s executive chairman, Ayodele Subair, and made available to reporters yesterday, the two weeks extention would be from February 1 through February 14, 2021.

According to law, the filing of company’s annual returns expires on January 31 of every fiscal year, and attracts stiff penalties for defaulters. Tax Payers are thereby urged to take advantage of this extension to perform their civic obligation.

The extension of the deadline according to the statement is also in response to appeals made by taxpayers as well as an attempt to assuage the effect of the pandemic on the taxpayers and residents of Lagos State. Leadership

Pix:  Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola,