MTN Nigeria in talk with Federal Government to Reconstruct Enugu-Onitsha high way in exchange for tax credit
Under the road infrastructure task credit (RITC) scheme, MTN Nigeria, the country’s largest mobile network by market share, has revealed plans to repair the Enugu-Onitsha expressway.
MTN Nigeria’s CEO, Karl Toriola, announced this in the company’s unaudited results for the half-year ending June 30, 2021, which were released on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX).
The RITC scheme provides a tax credit to businesses and people who contribute money to road maintenance and rehabilitation.
The plan is a public-private partnership (PPP) that allows the Nigerian government to use private sector resources and efficiency to build, repair, and maintain important road infrastructure in Nigeria’s key economic zones.
Until full cost recovery is achieved, participants will be able to use the total cost (Project Cost) incurred in the building or refurbishment of a qualified road as a tax credit against their future Companies Income Tax (CIT) liability.
Dangote Cement was awarded tax credit certificates worth N22.32 billion by the federal government in April for the construction of the Apapa-Oworonshoki-Ojota road in Lagos and the Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba route connecting Kogi and Kwara states.
The federal government and the telecoms industry have begun conversations about the road project, according to Toriola.
“2021 marks the 20th anniversary of MTN’s presence in Nigeria. As we celebrate this milestone, we are pleased to announce that our Board of Directors has approved our participation in the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit (RITC) Scheme,” Toriola said.
“This is in response to Government’s drive towards public-private partnerships in the rehabilitation of critical road infrastructure in Nigeria. We intend to participate in the restoration and refurbishment of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.
“Conversations in this regard have already commenced, and further announcements will be made in due course.”
MTN Nigeria will invest N640 billion over the next three years to increase internet connectivity across the country, according to Toriola, in line with the federal government’s national broadband strategy, which runs from 2020 to 2025.
“In line with our desire to plant deeper and more permanent roots in Nigeria, we have also initiated plans to commission a purpose-built, state of the art MTN Head Office, designed to act as a central hub for our network, a catalyst for creativity and innovation, and a showcase for the flexible working structures that are driving efficiency gains in this new normal working environment,” he added.
“Aligned with our wider commitment to environmental sustainability, it will meet the highest global environmental standards, demonstrating the role of green technology in our future.
“Following MTN Group’s stated intention to sell down up to 14% of its investment in MTN Nigeria, subject to market conditions over the medium-term, MTN Nigeria’s shareholders approved an equity shelf programme at the last Annual General Meeting. This will facilitate a process to increase ownership of the Company by more Nigerian retail and institutional investors.”
MTN Nigeria lost 7.6 million mobile users in the first half of 2021, due to legislative restrictions on new SIM sales and activations.