The Federal Government last weekend handed over the troubled road to Dangote Industries Limited and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc. (FMN) for immediate reconstruction with concrete overlay. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the FG, DIL, NPA and the FMN.
With its grim state serving as an embarrassment to the country, there is also a huge loss of about N140 billion to the government on a weekly basis. Dangote who spoke to select media men yesterday, said: “The economy loses more than N20 billion daily. It affects businesses across the country. All our operations in the hinterland in Ilorin, in Kano are operating at 40 per cent maximum capacity.” Lamenting the state of roads in the country, Dangote said: “Today, there is no linkage road going from South West to the North. You have to go all the way through Ajaokuta, Obajana, Lokoja and you have to go by that uncompleted road Obasanjo started 13 years ago.”
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, signed the agreement for the handover of the road, on behalf of the Federal Government, while the Managing Director, NPA, Hadiza Usman, and Joseph Makoju, honorary advisor to Aliko Dangote, president, Dangote Group, and Gbedebo, signed for their respective organisations. The three organisations are embarking on the project as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) to Apapa, where they all do business. The construction work to be handled by AG Dangote, a civil construction company, and joint venture between Dangote Group and AG of Brazil, would utilise concrete slabs as against asphalt, common with road construction in this part of the world. Managing director and chief executive of AG Dangote, Ashif Jumar in a chat with the media said: “We have already mobilised to site, but our major challenge is the chaotic Apapa traffic and the inclement rainy season. I appeal for patience and cooperation.”