Works Minister David Umahi yesterday continued the Federal Government’s exploration of alternative funding for federal roads.

The government is involving governors and private sector operators in the initiative to fix the deteriorating road network across the country.Umahi met with Taraba State Governor Agbu Kefas, Dangote Group Chairman/Chief Executive Aliko Dangote, and Heirs Holdings founder Tony Elumelu.

The Nation learnt that the Abuja meeting was to strengthen public-private partnership and explore alternative funding methods for the construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of federal highways through the Public Private Partnership (PPP).

A statement by the minister’ media adviser Uchenna Orji, reads: “In keeping with the road infrastructure initiatives of the Renewed Hope administration of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Hon. Minister of Works, His Excellency, Sen. Nweze David Umahi has been engaging with concessionaires and other private sector organisations on the need for private sector investment on our road infrastructure as done in advanced economies of the world.

“This informed the closed-door meeting the minister had with the Governor of Taraba State, Dr. Agbu Kefas, the founder/CEO of Dangote conglomerate, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the founder/chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu this 24th day of January, 2024, at the Federal Ministry of Works.

“It would be recalled that the Hon. Minister of Works in his zeal to change the ugly narrative of road infrastructure in Nigeria had set up three committees to work on the contracts executed by some concessionaires with the Federal Ministry of Works to reviewing the scope and cost implications of the projects they undertook to execute under the Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI).

“This private sector initiative will fast-track road infrastructure revolution and bring order, accountability, and profitable entrepreneurship to the operations, management, and maintenance of federal highways.

“The governor of Taraba who retired as a military professional was a one-time chairman, Governing Board of Directors, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA), before he became governor.

“The founder and CEO Dangote Group is one of Africa’s foremost captains of industry who have made ambitious investments in the development of infrastructure in Nigeria, just like his counterpart and chairman of Heirs Holdings who is also one of Africa’s leading investors who have shown manifest commitment in the transformation of Nigeria’s infrastructure through long- term investment in strategic sectors of Nigeria’s economy, including financial services, and infrastructure development.

“It is hoped that investors, local and international would take advantage of the will power of the President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope administration and the private sector experience and professional capacities of the minister to invest in the over 35,000 Km of the national road network being managed by the Federal Government of Nigeria as this network carries more than 70 per cent of the vehicular traffic making it a critical infrastructure for the movement of goods and services across the nation. “This initiative will trigger economic development, job creation, local content development and wealth creation for Nigerian population.

“Mr. President means business with his efforts to prosper our country and make it the pride of African continent. Your support is critical”.

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