The Federal Government is gathering about N300bn from private investors for the construction and rehabilitation of three major roads in the country under the Public-Private Partnership model.
The projects are the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, construction of the Second Niger Bridge and rehabilitation of the approach route of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road in Lagos.
The Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, said work on one of the roads had commenced, while the remaining two would commence later in the first quarter of this year.
Onolememen spoke at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Works on Tuesday during a courtesy call by the board and management of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission.
He said, “Today, we have successfully launched one of our projects and two others will be launched very shortly, perhaps in the first quarter of 2014. I’m talking about the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, on which construction has commenced, and I’m also talking about the Second Niger Bridge and the approach route of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
“For these three projects, we are bringing vast resources from the private sector to the tune of about N300bn. And if you consider it with the budget of the ministry, this would not have been possible because you have about 180 projects struggling to get a little from the about N100bn that is available for the ministry.
“But here we have this three projects alone gulping about N300bn and you are certain that the projects will be driven to completion at the scheduled time. So, this is one of the advantages of using the PPP.”
The minister said there was no doubt that Nigeria had a huge infrastructural gap, which provided opportunities for private investors.
He said the Federal Government alone could not provide the resources needed to address the gap in order to enhance economic growth in the country.
Onolememen said, “The reality in our nation today clearly shows that without the mechanism of the PPP, Nigerians will not be able to enjoy real dividends of democracy.
“So, this is why for us, it will be the way to go for a developing country like Nigeria, where in the road sector alone, we are expected to contribute about 40,000 kilometres of roads every year in the next four or five years if we are to meet up with what is required to adequately drive our economic activities.”
The minister said he would present the tolling policy document to the Federal Executive Council soon for approval “so that it can become the norm in our country.”