The House of Representatives has appealed to the federal government to explore the option of providing tax incentives to additional corporations involved in enhancing the infrastructure of public schools and hospitals through the Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit (RITC) Scheme.
The House reached this decision following the endorsement of a motion sponsored by Hon. Nnolim Nnaji and eight others during the plenary session held yesterday.
In his presentation, Nnaji recalled that on January 25, 2019, the then Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, signed the Presidential Executive Order for the RITC scheme.
Emphasizing the primary objective of the scheme, Nnaji stated that it aimed to encourage and facilitate private sector funding for road infrastructure projects in a manner that ensures value for money and guarantees timely and complete recovery of funds invested in construction or repair.
Nnaji highlighted that in 2021, the then Coordinating Director, Tax Operations Group of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Femi Oluwaniyi, encouraged other corporate entities nationwide to follow the example of Nigeria LNG, MTN, and others by taking advantage of the government’s tax credit facility and certificate for contributing to road infrastructure.
He pointed out that the burden of addressing the infrastructure gap is too substantial for the federal government to bear alone, especially given the global economic challenges. Public schools and hospitals are reportedly on the brink of collapse due to insufficient funding and development.
Nnaji emphasized that quality schools and hospitals are fundamental to societal development and economic growth, contributing to the reduction of unemployment, social vices, moral decay, drug abuse, youth restiveness, mortality rates, the spread of diseases, and unhealthy environments.
The House urged the federal government to consider extending tax incentives to more corporations involved in the infrastructural development of public schools and hospitals under a similar RITC Scheme. This move is seen as a way to alleviate the fiscal responsibility of the government and enhance its revenue.
Additionally, the House called on the Ministers of Finance, Education, and Health to collaborate with FIRS in activating the bureaucratic processes for the successful implementation of these tax incentives. This involves outlining measures and rules of engagement, considering stakeholder input and establishing an efficient mode of operation.