The Federal Government, on Tuesday, announced to begin the acquisition process for the 12 federal highways planned for concession under the Highway Development Management Initiative.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, declared this in Abuja and revealed the portal that was created to guarantee that the acquisition process was effortless.
The 12 highways so far planned out for concession by the Federal Government have a joined length of about 1,963km and signifies less than 5.6 per cent of Nigeria’s 35,000km federal highway network.
The 12 roads for concession under the preliminary stage include Benin-Asaba, Abuja-Lokoja, Kano-Katsina, Onitsha-Owerri, Shagamu-Benin and Abuja-Keffi-Akwanga.
Others include Kano-Shuari and Potiskum-Damaturu, Lokoja-Benin, Enugu-Port Harcourt, Ilorin-Jebba, Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta, and Lagos-Badagry-Seme border.
Fashola said, “These 12 roads were carefully chosen to ensure that each of the six geopolitical zones are covered.
“The initial capital investments that we foresee are something in the order of N1.13tn and the employment potentials are an estimated 50,000+ direct jobs and 200,000+ indirect jobs.”
On the acquisition portal, Fashola declared that it was created to guarantee competitiveness and ensure transparency, stating that it would function as the interface with the citizen and manage the HDMI from acquisition to execution.
He clarified that the portal would give access to important documents, news updates, videos, guarantee the management of the public private partnership acquisition process and the approvals process and permits, among others.
The minister stated, “Therefore, to those writing letters of inquiry, making offers of interest on the HDMI, offering to provide services like tolling, weigh bridge, rest houses, etc., we are sorry we cannot respond to those letters in order to maintain the integrity of this process and to keep the playing field level.”
Fashola further said that presently, the government was implementing over 700 different contracts for the restructuring and rehabilitation of over 13,000km of roads and bridges across all the 36 states as well as the Federal Capital Territory.
He disclosed that the Highway Development Management Initiative (HDMI) was an effort by government to mobilise private capacity, assets and business development into the Nigerian highway sector.
The minister stated that the initiative would hopefully change roads from just social resources into assets of business opportunities and entrepreneurship.