Nigeria: Govt to Concession Abuja-Lokoja, Kaduna-Kano Roads, 8 Others

The Federal Government yesterday unveiled a plan to concession 10 federal road networks across the country.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the first phase of proposed "Valued Added Concession" would cover 2,275km out of the 35,000km federal road networks.

Fashola stated this when he unveiled the project titled "Highway Development and Management Initiative" to members of the National Assembly Committees on Works.

He listed the roads for concession in the first phase to include: Benin-Asaba, Abuja-Lokoja, Kaduna-Kano, Onitsha-Owerri-ABA, Shagamu-Benin, Abuja-Keffi-Akwanga, Kano-Maiduguri, Lokoja-Benin, Enugu-Port Harcourt, and Ilorin-Jebba.

The minister said the initiative was to attract sustainable investment and funding in the development of road infrastructure.

"The rationale behind private sector engagement is that it provides an avenue to mitigate paucity of funds which has hindered road development in the past," he said.

He said the initiative will attract a capital investment of N163.23bn and created about 23,000 jobs for the masses.

He said the Value Added Concession through the construction of rest areas will reduce fatigue on the highways thereby causing a reduction in accidents as the routes will be better managed and maintained.

He said improvements on weighbridge stations would reduce the incidence of roads having to bear loads above their design weight. "This will improve the lifespan of the road pavement," he added.

The lawmakers described the initiative as a laudable project but expressed concern over capability of investors.

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