FG targets $2bn private investment in road sector

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By Favour Nnabugwu

The Federal Government is aiming at generating a whopping $2billion  from the private sector into the road sector between now and the next two years.

 

Works Minister, Mike Onolememen

Works Minister, Mike Onolememen, an architect,  said the  present administration would generate the money in the light of the various road sector reforms it has embarked upon, who spoke at the commissioning of the Ministry’s Sky Walk Bridge in Abuja, said he had put in motion the mechanisms that would trigger the needed private sector involvement in roads construction.

“Minister of Works,  Mike Onolememenhe rsaid the ecord of the Ministry’s PPP is also an unenviable one. For the first time, we are able to put in motion mechanisms that will ensure that the ministry within the next two years is able to raise about $2 billion approximately from private sector fund to fund road development projects.

That is the new spirit, the new paradigm in the Ministry because we believe that government cannot do it alone,” he explained.
Giving an update on the progress of work on the Abuja-Lokoja dualisation project, the Minister noted that with the progress of work on the road, it would be delivered in 2014.

He said the present administration met the road at about 18 per cent completion level, but through focus and adequate funding, it has reached 70 per cent level.

He also said that it was to the credit of the present administration that work has commenced on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway after the maintenance of the road suffered serious neglect while still under concession.

Onolememen also hinted that the design of the 2nd Niger Bridge had been completed, adding that construction work on the road would soon start.

On the significance of the Sky Walk Bridge constructed to link the two blocks serving the Ministry, he said, “it will enhance productivity and easy movement from one section to the other. Before now if you call a Director to come for an urgent assignment, most times they drive outside before coming here”.

The present administration, he said hinges adequate funding of roads  on the Public Private Partnership arrangement, insisting that public finance alone cannot be sufficient to address the parlous state of the country’s road infrastructure.

“This project is a demonstration of the capability of the Federal Ministry of Works to fully  harness the potential of its workers for the realisation of the present administration’s transformation agenda. It will also help to integrate departments in the Ministry especially those between block A and B. It will also enhance collaboration among staffers.”

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