By Adedapo Adesanya
Group President/Chief Executive of Dangote Industries, Mr Aliko Dangote has lamented that his companies lost about N25 billion in revenue to the ‘notorious’ gridlock on the Apapa/Oshodi highway.
He said the amount was lost between 2017 and 2019, noting that he agreed to fix the road so as to bring succour to those doing business in the area, including himself.
About two years ago, Mr Dangote had an agreement with the federal government to fix the 35-kilometer road in Lagos for a 10-year rebate of N72.9 billion.
Some days ago, he took the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on a tour to see ongoing work on the road. The Minister was impressed, commending the company for bailing government out.
The business mogul, while speaking during the inspection, said he expects the project to be completed before the end of year and should last up to four decades.
“We expect that by the end of 2020, the entire road network will be finished, you will have a road that will last for 40 years.
“This road will actually open up the economy. It will bring a lot of jobs and a lot of factories that have moved out will be able to move back,” he said.
In his remarks, Mr Fashola said, “Federal Government is dedicated to the speedy completion of the highway to provide a lasting solution to the problems of bad roads, and gridlocks.”
Speaking about the economic revival in the Apapa area, the Minister said, “Businesses have started coming back on Liverpool Road because the road closed earlier is now back. You will see more of that.
“All of the businesses that are shut on Creek Road will come back. We expect to see property redevelopment and property renewal once the road is completed.”
He also explained that the project will be creating wealth around the surrounding areas as trucks will be needed to convey different materials to the site of the construction, and also labour to help with the process, noting that the project has also seen over 600 people directly employed.
“Once the economy of Apapa returns, all the clearing and forwarding, shipping, newspaper companies and all others doing business will resume fully and the economy will bounce back,” he stated.
He lauded the private/public partnership scheme as shown between the federal government and Dangote and pointed out that section two of the project, which was not part of the original contract was already showing signs of failure, due to heavy traffic.
While inspecting the road around the Oshodi area, the Minister commented that, “We are at the Oshodi area now and one side has been concluded and opened to traffic and this is how we intend to continue to complete and open until we finish the entire road.”
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