Dangote Group has debunked the story going round that the company will benefit from a 10-year tax holiday after constructing the 35 kilometres Apapa to Oworonshoki long highway end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway
Speaking to cross section of journalists in his Ikoyi office yesterday, group executive director, Strategy, Portfolio Development and Capital Projects, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, revealed that the company has never benefited any tax waivers or credits in its entire history except when it is industry based and apply to all its competitors.
He explained that while the company has volunteered to repair the Apapa road as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at no costs at all to the Federal Government, the construction of Apapa to Oworonshoki long highway will be done at 15 to 25 per cent less than the lowest bid.
According to him: “It is very painful when some people accuse our company of benefitting 10 years’ tax rebate from the government. There is nothing like tax credit in all these. We volunteered to construct the Apapa to Oworonshoki long highway at a cost that will be about 15 to 25 per cent less than the lowest bid on the road…We hope to get back our money after three years by removing the sum from the tax we are supposed to pay.”
He explained that the company proposed to the government to reduce 50 per cent of the total cost of the road, from its proposed tax, on its first year after completion and 25 per cent of the costs respectively for two years from its proposed tax.
“…the government came forward and said, you guys are repairing the road, good enough but this road is very important to all Nigerians…is it possible to help us do proper road construction of 35 kilometers from Apapa to Oworonshoki? We advised the government to go for a competitive bidding and also that we will take it up at a costs that will be lower than the lowest bid received by the government.
Since the government may not be handy with cash, we proposed that we will recover our money in three years in installments against our future tax, so infact, the government will not pay anything to us, we will only offset our costs against our three years tax, so government will not pay us a dime for the road and it is not as if we are not paying tax.
It would be recalled that the federal government said it would give tax relief to private sectors that invest in road construction in the country