On September 16, 2017, Nigerians were rightly informed about agreements signed between it and two multinational Organizations viz: NLNG and Dangote Group.

In no particular order, on the 13th of September, 2017,NLNG agreed to partner 50-50, with the federal government in building the Bodo-Bonny bridge put at #120.6 billion , in which the parity of #60.3 billion becomes the financial obligation of either party.

It will be good to remind us, that the misery of road users on the Apapa - Wharf axis got a reprieve from the decision of Dangote to overhaul the 2 kilometer road, with its estimate put at #4.3 billion naira. That construction, according to government falls in the category of Corporate Social Responsibility, which the Group has agreed to undertake.

A day earlier, before the NLNG signed the construction pact with the federal government, on the 12th of the same month, it had signed an agreement with Nigeria's leading conglomerate - Dangote - for the rebuilding of the 35 kilometer stretch of the Apapa - Oworonshoki road.

The shocker was when we heard, that government awaits the design for the construction of the road before its financial implication will be determined. Even more shocking is that, there won’t be any PPP, and unlike what was obtainable during the Jonathan administration, Dangote will enjoy tax relief for ten years as against the initial five years agreeable in such instances by government.

Could we be reminded, that during the "war of figures" preparatory to the assent of the 2017 budget, there were references to roads without designs, which found its way into the appropriation bill, but this time, the same anomaly the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing accused the lawmakers of under the 'helmsanship' of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola is being steered here.

As much as advocates of functional infrastructure are head over heels, let me ask here. What is the worth of such road now, and what would the estimated value be in ten years? Secondly, what is the amount paid in tax by Dangote each year, and what amount would that be in ten years, considering the variables of economic policies cum foreign exchange? What is the guaranteed durability assurance of this road in question?

Findings reveal, that Dangote paid #308.479 billion in tax at the end of September, 2016 calendar year, which means, that of the #442 billion the conglomerate made in the past year, it could only keep #135.521 billion as profit after tax, being lower than the #157.993 billion made as profit after tax in 2015

Could we zoom on the cost quoted for the 2 kilometer Apapa - Wharf end, estimated at #4.3 billion. So we can as well say, that #4.3 billion over 35 kilometers equals #73.250 billion, being the actual current value to fix the Apapa - Oworonshoki stretch seeded to Dangote for construction.

Here comes the banger, #73.250 billion over ten years would give us #732.500 billion, being the amount that Dangote Group wouldn’t have to pay for ten years, right. As I mentioned earlier, if Dangote Group paid #308.479 billion in tax at the financial year end of September 2016, it means that the group could recoup the said taxable amount for the roads in 2 years and nine months, for the reason that the yearly tax amounts to #616,958 billion in two years, thus the remaining #115.542 billion is left to be sorted by the third year, totaling #732.500 billion for the ten years mentioned.

This means that, Dangote Group would, within three years, have recouped payment for the cost he bore to fix the 35 kilometer road, even more, and for the next seven years, the conglomerate would not pay a dime because his tax holiday would still be in effect.

Here is the illogic with respect to the decision of government. For the remainder of the years as analysed, Dangote Group will not pay a dime to the federal government because some ministers and their ministries have not sat down to juggle figures, with the intention of weighing the losses that would accrue to the nation, the sufferings that the masses would have to go through, the dearth of infrastructure because of the lack of such funds and ultimately how the Nigerian economy would have been dragged aground.

#308, 479 billion in tax for a year multiplied by seven years equals #2, 159,353 trillion. It means that Dangote Group would loom so large, that Nigeria will become the worse for it. How could the retinue of advisers not have thought that ten years in tax relief means colossal bondage for Nigeria, such that this kind of arrangement is on the cards. Let me be clear here, it seems from these arrangement, that Fashola needs to let go of the job because he seems be-fuddled by the punch lines of figures, perhaps he is complicit in this highly unfavourable arrangement or that, he is just willing to keep Nigeria further wallowing in the detestable mire of stagnation.
I call on every Nigerian to stand up against what will sink this country, while ensuring probity and accountability from the Minister of Power, Works and Housing. Dangote Group also need to be held to account here, reason being that, the group has enjoyed the goodwill of Nigeria in terms of patronage of local content, so anything that will seem as deliberate rip off must not be thought of, let alone committed against Nigerians.
 If we put Nigeria first before our pecuniary passion, the nation can and will definitely be better for it. God bless Nigeria.


Adeniyi T. Kunnu writes from his work desk. @mautin777

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