Minister of Works initiates talks with African Development Bank for highway construction funding

As part of the Federal Government’s action plan to boost the nation’s economic opportunities and improve the investment process, initiated by the Renewed Hope administration of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Honorable Minister of Works, His Excellency Sen. Engr Nweze David Umahi , has initiated discussions with the African Development Bank.

 

The aim is to explore potential funding for the construction of sections of the Coastal and Trans-Sahara Highways in various parts of Nigeria.

The Honourable Minister made these remarks during a meeting with a delegation from the African Development Bank, AFDB, led by the Director of Infrastructure and Urban Development, Mike Salawou. The meeting took place at the office of the Honourable Minister of the Federal Ministry of Works on the 5th of March 2024.

The project, as highlighted by the Honourable Minister, aims to establish enduring infrastructure and promote industrialization along the designated corridors. It will entail the construction of a comprehensive network of paved highways to facilitate efficient transportation and trade routes for goods and services along the North-South corridors. The Minister emphasized the investment opportunities available in infrastructure development along both the coastal and trans-Saharan routes. These opportunities include investment prospects in the hospitality industry, tourism, agricultural production, real estate, parks, and industrial businesses.

The Minister highlighted the need for funding to address the sections of the Coastal and Trans-Saharan Highways that have not yet been constructed, awarded, or taken over by concessionaires under the Highway Development and Management Initiative, HDMI. He outlined the scope of the coastal road, which spans 700 kilometers, running from Lagos through Ogun State to Ondo State, traversing coastal states such as Delta, Bayelsa, Port Harcourt, and Akwa Ibom, before concluding in Cross River.

Additionally, he mentioned the Ogoja road and the African Trans-Saharan road leading to Cameroon as integral parts of the project.

The Minister elaborated further, stating, “We are segmenting the roads. Just last week, we awarded section one of phase one, covering a distance of 47.47 kilometers. This section has been awarded to Hi-tech Construction Limited. Additionally, we have phase two, spanning approximately 57 kilometers, extending from the conclusion of phase one. Phase one terminates at Lekki Peninsula, stretching from Ahmadu Bello Way to the Lekki deep-sea port. Phase two will continue to the boundary between Ogun State and Ondo State.”

 

He also highlighted, “These projects will be open to funding from various sources, with Hi-tech Construction Nigeria Limited serving as the lead investor. Therefore, when discussions arise, it will be necessary for us to convene meetings involving Hi-tech and the Honourable Minister of Finance, who also serves as the Coordinating Minister of the Economy.”

In his mission statement, the spokesperson of the Africa Development Bank, AFDB, and Director of Infrastructure and Urban Development emphasized the bank’s commitment to contributing to sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries. He expressed the bank’s readiness to offer a strong partnership to the Federal Government of Nigeria, particularly by providing technical and financial support for road infrastructure development.

 

He stated, “As the African Development Bank, we are ready to assist you. To facilitate our support, we require any available studies to understand how we can assist you with this project. We are prepared to explore resources to support you in structuring the various projects.”

 

Furthermore, he highlighted the significance of the dualization of the road between Nigeria and Cameroon in promoting regional integration between the two countries. He emphasized Nigeria’s role as Cameroon’s primary trade partner and stressed the importance of enhancing modernized infrastructure to strengthen regional ties.

 

Credible news.ng

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *