Lagos — The traffic gridlock on the Apapa ports road has cost the Dangote Group about N25 billion in revenue between 2017 and 2019 financial year, President/Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has said.
Aliko Dangote revealed this in Lagos on Monday when he was taking the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on an inspection tour of the 35-kilometre Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonsoki-Ojota highway currently being constructed by Dangote Industries Limited (DIL).
The Apapa-Oshodi expressway will last for 40 years when completed, he told Mr Fashola.
Commenting on the quality of the road been constructed, he said that it will revive commerce around the Apapa area.
"This road will actually open up the economy. It will bring a lot of jobs and a lot of factories that have moved out will be able to move back.
"We expect that by the end of 2020, the entire road network will be finished; you will have a road that will last for 40 years," Dangote said.
Speaking during the inspection, Fashola said, "the Federal Government is dedicated to the speedy completion of the highway to provide a lasting solution to the problems of bad roads, and gridlocks."
He added: "Businesses have started coming back on Liverpool Road because the road closed earlier is now back. You will see more of that. All of the businesses that are shut on Creek Road will come back. We expect to see property redevelopment and property renewal once the road is completed."
The Works and Housing minister further explained that the project will create wealth around the surrounding areas as trucks will be needed to convey different materials to the site of the construction, and also labour to help with the process, as the project currently employs over 600 people directly.
Fashola explained that the economy around the ongoing road construction will provide jobs and opportunities for Nigerians.
"Once the economy of Apapa returns, all the clearing and forwarding, shipping, newspaper companies and all others doing business will resume fully and the economy will bounce back," he noted.
He lauded the private/public partnership scheme with Dangote, noting that section two of the project, which was not part of the original contract was already showing signs of failure, due to heavy traffic.
While inspecting the road around the Oshodi area, Fashola said: "we are at the Oshodi area now and one side has been concluded and opened to traffic and this is how we intend to continue to complete and open until we finish the entire road."
It will be recalled that this is the first attempt to rehabilitate the ever-busy road since it was first completed in 1978.
The current construction works began in 2018, as part of a bargain between the company and the Federal Government to enjoy a 10-year tax rebate that accrues to N72.9 billion.