Edo Coalition for Democracy and Good Governance (ECODAGG) has commended the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, for facilitating the reconstruction of the Lokoja-Benin and Benin-Warri roads.
The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved N75billion for the reconstruction of the Lokoja-Benin federal road and N64billion for the Benin-Warri dual carriageway.
The group, in a statement by its Coordinator General, Tony Erha, said Agba deserved commendation instead of condemnation for the significant infrastructure advantage the projects would bring to the people.
ECODAGG was reacting to a publication by one Benjamin Atu, Special Assistant to Sen. Francis Alimikhena, who represents Edo North in the National Assembly.
Alimikhena was of the All Progressives Congress (APC) before he defected to the Peoples Democratic Party after losing his third-term nomination bid on the platform of the APC.
Atu had said that Agba was not responsible for the approval and therefore should not be credited with it.
The group noted that Atu’s write-up was full of partisan politics.
According to the group, the writer of the article, “has done a hatchet job, with his ill-informed and undue criticisms in a write-up, that Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, should not take the credit and be named as the facilitator of the (projects) under the NNPC Tax Credit Scheme Phase 2.”
The Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme were brought about through the Executive Order 007 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
The objective of the Order was to initiate a process for attracting funding from the private sector for critical road infrastructure across the country.q
Companies that take up such partnerships, recoup their investments through the deduction of the approved total costs expended on the project from their annual Company Income Tax.
ECODAGG urged all stakeholders to rally around and commend anyone that contributed positively towards the development of the state.
“Prince Agba, being the Honourable Minister of State in charge of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, the very monitoring and evaluating the body of all federal ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs), etc., is ordinarily the first ‘facilitator’ of all federal projects.
“As a public-spirited organization of individuals that push for the advancement of our people, we hereby call on Prince Clem Agba, not to be discouraged by ignoble and anti-people comments.
“Prince Agba, for his well-meaning intention for the Edo people, has written his name in pure gold, a good gesture that is derided by the never-do-well persons.”