The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has said that the federal government is set to concession Lagos-Badagry Seme (79km) and 11 other roads under the Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI).
The Minister disclosed this at the official handover of the certificate of compliance by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commissions (ICRC) recently.
Fashola stated that HDMI is a home-grown idea that would deliver a safer and enjoyable travel experience, shorten travel time, reduce cost and stimulate commercial activities, adding that the initiative would facilitate further development of Nigerias federal highway network by attracting investment to improve efficiency and accountability in the maintenance of all assets within the Right of Way (RoW) on the highways.
Noting that this initiative will help in infrastructure and assets development, alongside creation of more jobs in the country, Fashola said “Apart from infrastructure and assets development, thousands of jobs will be created for Nigerians as the initiative will open up the highway economy with opportunities in various economic activities.
“These include fabrication of gantries and directional signage with advertising opportunities, towing van operations and auto repair stations, operation of rest areas and emergency services, among others.
“When fully operational, road users will now enjoy first-class facilities on federal highways with directional signage, well-equipped rest areas, round-the-clock security patrol, and ambulance services for emergencies,” he added.
Fashola added that the government’s infrastructure development plan was being driven by the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme Order of 2018, the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) being managed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the SUKUK Fund, stressing that it would be executed in two parts comprising Value Added Concession (VAC) and Unbundled Assets Approval (UAA).
Corroborating, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Babangida Hussaini, stated that the development, expansion and maintenance of federal highways have increasingly become a herculean task to government due to dwindling revenues and other compelling public service obligations.
“It is to mitigate this challenge that the ministry has adopted the option of exploring the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, which seeks to employ the private sectors technical competencies, managerial capabilities and financial resources to salvage the federal roads networks.
“The PPP arrangement in the management of our highways will bring order, efficiency, accountability and profitable entrepreneurship to the operation, management and maintenance of all assets within the nations right of way,” he said.
It would be recalled that the repair of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway has been neglected for a while, thereby making the road to be in a bad state before the commencement of highway expansion.