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We’ll ensure transparency in highway development initiative – Fashola

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NERC has power to revoke licenses of none-performing DisCos – Fashola

Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashioa says government will ensure transparency in the Highway Development Management Initiative (HDMI) for all participants.

Fashola, who disclosed this at the Ministerial Notice of the commencement of the HDMI on Tuesday in Abuja, said the initiative would be used to manage and develop federal road networks.

He added that it was also in order to attract sustainable investment and funding in the development of road infrastructure in the country.

“The rationale behind the private sector engagement under the HDMI would provide an avenue that would mitigate paucity of funds, which had hindered roads development in the past,” he said.

According to him, the initiative falls in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the country which has been in implementation for almost four years.

He said that it was also part of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to radically revamp and increase Nigeria’s stock of infrastructure.

The minister emphasised that all enquiries concerning the project must go through the portal designated for that purpose; https://hdmi.worksandhousing.gov.ng which would be open from March 29.

According to him, this is to ensure a level playing ground for all who are interested in being part of the project.

Speaking on the initiative, Fashola said the federal government was executing over 700 different programmes.

“This aggregates to 13,000km of roads and bridges on rehabilitation and construction among the 36 states, including the FCT.

“As a result of the size of project we are taking, there is an increasing demand for funding to finance the project.

“There is the need to finance other complimentary services, rest houses, towing vehicles, which seems suited for commercial initiating compliance.

“This is another effort to mobilize carrying capacity, resources and entrepreneurship into the Nigerian highway sector and hopefully convert the roads from the social assets into assets of commercial opportunities.

“The 12 routes aggregate the total of 1963.24km which represents 5.6 per cent of the 35,000km of federal road network.

“The initial capital investment we have received sums in the order N1.134trillion and the employment potentials are estimated to be 50,000 direct jobs and 5,000 indirect jobs,’’ Fashola said.

On his part the Permanent Secretary, FMWH Mr Babangida Hussaini, said the initiative would focus on the 12 routes in the first phase.

The routes are Benin-Asaba, Abuja-Lokoja, Kano-Katsina Onitsha-Owerri, Shagamu-Benin, Abuja-Keffi-Akwanga, Lokoja-Benin, Enugu-PortHarcourt, Ilorin-Jebba, Lagos-Badagry-Seme Border, Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta and Kano-Shuari.

According to him, the initiative is keyed at private sector engagement and its broken down into two categories: the value added concession (VAC) and the unbundle assets approval (UAA)

Under the VAC the concession is responsible for managing the entire right of the way as well as developing the roads.

The concessionaire is able to get the investment through the internal generating assets that would be developed on the routes.

“The ministry is assuring responsibility of the federal road network and conceptualise the HDMI to provide avenue to mitigate lack of funds which has hindered highway development in the country.

“The objectives is to attract sustainable investment and funding in the development of road infrastructure, and maximise use of access to the roads and encourage private sector investment.

“(It is also to) recreate dormant roads and ensure international best practices in the development and management of our highways among other benefits,’’ Hussaini said.

Mr Micheal Ohiani, acting Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Company (ICRC), said the company was ready to support the ministry on the initiative.

“We will continue to support the procurement process to ensure sustainable project delivery.

“As the HDMI project is proceeding to procurement stage, the ICRC as a Public Private Partner regulatory agency is committed to ensure competitive and transparent processes,” Ohiani said.

Perpetua Onuegbu And Chiazam George

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