By Our Reporter
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on Nigerians and stakeholders to support the Federal Government’s introduction of a Highway Development Management Initiative (HDMI), which will grant licenses to individuals and other private concerns to build, operate and maintain highways across the country, saying that it will create jobs for the youths and boost the nation’s economy.
In a statement by its National Secretary Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Sen. John Akpanudoedehe, said that aside from being a global best practice, the HDMI road concession arrangement complements previous financing options initiated by the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration, including the Sukuk Bond; Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) – a dedicated fund for the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, the 375km Abuja-Kano Road and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit which the Dangote Group and LNG have leveraged on to construct the Obajana-Kabba Road, Apapa-Oworonshoki Road, and the Bonny-Bodo Road and Bridge, respectively.
Aside from complementing the infrastructure drive of the President Buhari administration to bequeath a world-class national road network, the concessionaire agreement will ensure the development of indigenous small and medium-scale businesses along the highways and create thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
The statement read in part, “As the President Buhari administration embarks on initiatives to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to execute ongoing critical infrastructure projects; we call on the support of all Nigerians and stakeholders.
“The economic impact and gains of the Highway Development Management Initiative value chain and private sector investment estimated at N1.34 trillion for the development and maintenance of the 12 pilot routes are enormous and will benefit all,” the statement said.
It will be recalled that earlier this month, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said with the receipt of a certificate of compliance, the federal government is now set to officially commence the procurement process for concessions of 12 roads under the Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI).
The roads include; Benin-Asaba (125km), Abuja-Lokoja (193km), Kano-Katsina (150km), Onitsha-Owerri-Aba (161km), Shagamu-Benin (258km), Abuja-Keffi-Akwanga (122km), Kano-Shuari (100km), Potiskum-Damaturu (96.24km), Lokoja-Benin (270km), Enugu-Port Harcourt (200km), Ilorin-Jebba (129km), Lagos-Otta-Abeokuta (80km), and Lagos-Badagry-Seme (79km).