The Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited has offered to part-finance the Bonny-Bodo Road, a long-standing road infrastructure project of the government, to the tune of N60 billion.
The Managing Director of NLNG, Babs Omotowa, who explained that that the project will help improve the infrastructure in the Niger Delta when completed, added that the company’s N60 billion offer represents 50 per cent of the total project cost for the road.
Addressing the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs at a hearing in Abuja, Omotowa stated that the NLNG’s offer to provide 50 per cent of the funding for the road will be activated provided the partnership is accepted and matched by the federal government.
He noted that the road in question cuts through Ogoni, Okrika, Eleme and Andoni into Bonny, adding that the lives of thousands of Nigerians living in these communities will be improved when it is completed.
To this end, he then called on the government and relevant agencies, including the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) which is in disagreement with it over the legality of a three per cent development levy, to partner with it in the road project.
The senate committee had invited the NLNG to clarify its reported refusal to remit to the NDDC, a three per cent development levy as contained in the NDDC Act, but Omotowa explained that the company’s position on its exemption from payment of the levy was based on an existing law- the NLNG Act of 2004, which granted such exemption to it.
He noted that the matter under reference was also the subject of a legal action filed against NLNG by the NDDC in 2005 in which the High Court, the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court had all ruled in favour of NLNG.
He said, “We have offered to the government that the road between Bodo to Bonny which has being outstanding since the 1970s, that we are willing to offer 50 per cent of the cost of the project to the government and that contribution is N60 billion and we think that these are the kind of projects that the NDDC can work with us,” Omotowa said.
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