The Dangote group has denied allegations that it had been given a 10 year tax holiday for reconstructing the Apapa Oworonshoki expressway. Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development and Capital Projects, Devakumar Edwin gave the clarification. He also stated that the company had never benefited from any tax waivers or credits except when it is industry based and applies to all it’s competitors. Devakumar also stated that the company in conjunction with Flour Mills Plc would be reconstructing the Oshodi Apapa Expressway at a cost of N4.3 billion.
The construction of the Apapa to Oworonshoki long highway will be done at 15 to 25% less than the lowest bid. We hope to get our money back by removing the sum from the tax we are supposed to pay. Since the government may not be handy with cash, we will recover our money in three years in installments against our future tax.
While Devakumar may have put to rest the controversy surrounding the tax holiday, he did not state the exact amount the Dangote group would be getting as tax holiday in lieu of payment. The company can afford to take a cut on the payment because it produces cement which will be used for the project.
The company’s denials are also at variance with comments that were made by Babatunde Fashola the Minister of Works, Power and Housing. The minister had in September announced the award of the Apapa-Oworonshoki Expressway to the Dangote group. The contract was awarded to AG Dangote, a joint venture company by the Dangote Group and AG of Brazil.
As part of the agreement,Fashola had also stated that the company would be granted a 10 year tax holiday. He made this known at the road construction seminar held in Lagos.
AG Dangote (the construction arm of the Dangote Group) is a joint venture between Andrade-Gutierrez of Brazil and the Dangote Group. AG was founded in 1948 in Brazil, and is one of the biggest construction firms in the country. Dangote group was founded in May 1981 as a trading business with an initial focus on cement, but has since diversified into other sectors of the economy including road construction.