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Concessioning 10 highways will create 46,000 jobs – Fashola

By Anthony Isaac

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has disclosed that the first phase of the Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI) would create at least 46,600 direct jobs when fully operational.

Fashola made the disclosure during a Webinar conference held by the Lagos Business School on HDMI on Thursday.

The Webinar event which had several ministers in attendance also had over 600 participants.

Fashola explained that the plan would attract about N160 billion investments from the private sector at an average of N16 billion for each of the 10 highways marked for the first phase of the initiative.

He explained that the jobs would be created from road construction and maintenance, toll plazas, weigh bridges operations, rest houses facilities amongst others.

He said: “HDMI seeks to bring multi-dimensional resources of skills, manpower, finance, technology and much more into a large portion of Nigeria’s national highways governance especially starting with the 35,000Km of Federal Highway network.

“What this initiative seeks to achieve is to bring order, accountability and profitable entrepreneurship to the operation, management and maintenance of our federal highways.

“What we have therefore done is to identify 10 highways which represent 2,225Km about 6.5 percent of our 35,000Km federal highway network. This will constitute the first phase of HDMI”.

He explained further that on each road “we see opportunities for the erection of gantries, and directional signage all of which our ministry has designed, standardized and costed.

“We see opportunities for toll plazas, weigh bridges – some of them are already constructed and need completion in some cases and also the construction of warehouses to operate the weigh bridges, offload excess cargoes, store wet and dry cargoes; we see opportunities for street lighting and advertising; we also see opportunities for rest houses which sites have already been identified; we have developed concept designs for facilities for catering, lodging, fueling and car repairs”.

In their ministerial remarks, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Serika, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Minister of Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo expressed support for the initiative.

Mrs. Ahmed said the opportunity to have the private sector invest in road infrastructure was exciting.

She said the HDMI offers government the opportunity to provide first class road infrastructure without spending from the public fund.

The highways earmarked for the first phase of the HDMI are: Benin-Asaba, Abuja-Lokoja, Kano-Katsina, Onitsha-Owerri-Aba, Shagamu-Benin, Abuja-Keffi-Akwanga, Kano-Maiduguri, Lokoja Benin, Enugu-Port Harcourt, and Ilorin-Jebba.

Written by ExpressDay

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