We are rebuilding, expanding strategic highway projects, says Buhari
The President, Muhammadu Buhari has reaffirmed that apart from Federal Government’s development of trans African highway projects, the administration is also rebuilding, expanding or replacing strategic highways and bridges across the country.
The president said this while receiving the 2021 Trophee Babacar Ndiaye award at the 7th Edition of the African Road Builders Conference with the theme, ‘building roads, building economies’ in Abuja.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, he said the Apapa-Oworonshoki Highway in Lagos for example, was strategic for trade and business facilitation to support Apapa and Tin Can Island sea port, while the Suleja-Minna Highway is critical to the nations’ petroleum distribution network.
The president explained that the Calabar-Itu-Odukpani has also unlocked access to agricultural produce and supports mining and extractive activities for construction, in the South South and South East of Nigeria.
According to him, Nigeria is playing her membership and leadership role in African Development Bank, a financial institution set up to support African countries in their developmental objectives and the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement set up to create a unified, borderless market of over one billion people to facilitate intra-African Trade.
He said: “Our collaboration with the African Development Bank has been productive and results are now manifest in projects like the Mfum-Bamenda Bridge that connects Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroun.”
He said: “The Nigerian section of this highway is now under construction on the Lagos-Badagry corridor through our local financing institution such as the Tax Credit Scheme introduced by Executive Order No. 7; and in collaboration with the Lagos State Government.
“The East to West crossing of Nigeria across the Second River Niger Bridge, which will be finished this year, is a major investment by Nigeria on the Lagos-Mombasa Trans African Highway, as is the Enugu/Abakaliki to Mfum Highway. The 375Km Abuja to Kano that is now under construction is Nigeria’s major part of the Trans African Highway No. 2; Algiers to Lagos.”
In a presentation ‘Building Roads, Building Economies’, the Head, Special Projects & Acting Coordinator, NII3P (A PPP Training Institute of ICRC), Dr. Amanze Okere, said the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) Act is being amended by the National Assembly to implement improvements observed over the years.
He said for 2022, ICRC intends to gazette a pipeline of 52 eligible and bankable PPP projects, worth about U$22 billion by the beginning of Q2, 2022.
The Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), Uche Orji, stated that the PIDF was established in 2018 to accelerate the execution of critical infrastructure projects, such as Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge, and Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Road. It also included East-West Road Project (EWR) and Mambilla Hydro-Power project.
Orji said “The EWR project was removed from the PIDF Portfolio based on the request of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for its excision to enable MNDA undertake the EWR project as a public works contract.
The Group Managing Director/CEO NNPC Limited, Mallam Mele Kyari, said NNPC’s participation in the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme was to address the plight faced by petroleum product marketers in transportation.
“Under the scheme, NNPC is providing N621 billion for the rehabilitation of 1,804.6 Km of identified Federal roads. The roads, which are also critical to NNPC’s operations, are spread across 15 States in the country.