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Published On: Wed, Jul 1st, 2020

Phase One HDMI: Phase One HDMI: FG to concession 10 highways, create 46, 694 jobs -Fashola

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By Mashe Umaru Gwamna

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, recently said about 46, 694 directed jobs will be provided as the Federal Government concessions 10 highways across the country.
Fashola in his keynote speech at a Webinar on Public Private Partnership for National Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI) organised by his ministry said about N160bn was projected for the project.
The Lagos Business School and Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) also co-hosted the event.
According to the minister, Beini-Asaba, Abuja-Lokoja, Kaduna-Kano, Onitsha-Owerri-Aba, Shagamu-Benin, Abuja-Keffii-Akwanga, Kano-Maiduguri, Lokoja-Bein, Enugu-Port Harcourt, and Ilorin-Jebba highways were stated for concessioning under the first phase of HDMI.
Fashola said the10 highways to be concessioned in collaboration with ICRC represent 2,225km or about 6.4 percent of the country’s 35,000 km highways network.
The minister said the 46694 direct jobs to be created would cut across construction, installation, fabrication, waste management, etc, adding that the indirect jobs will also be created.
He said: “In a nutshell, what the HDMI seeks to achieve is to bring multi-dimensional resources of skills, manpower, finance, technology and much more into the National Highway governance within Nigeria’s 35,000 km of federal highway.
“What we have done now is to identify 10 (TEN) highways representing about 2,225 km and 6.4% of our 35,000km Federal Highway Network as a pilot first phase of the HDMI.
“But our research and studies suggest that on this journey, the first phase of 10 routes of 2,225 km can elicit an investment of over N160 billion, approximating to about N16bn per route and unleash opportunities for prosperity.
“With this, we anticipate about 46,694 direct jobs spanning construction, Installation, fabrication, security, and waste management to mention a few. The indirect job opportunities and spin-offs remain a matter of excitable and mouth-watering expectation.
The minister also added that some of these things already existed in some of our highways adding that what HDMI seeks to achieve is to organise them in a way that brings order, accountability and profitable entrepreneurship.
He said that the ministry was also working on a software tagged “Know your Road and Own your Network’’ which would soon be in public view.
According to him, it is a software which will be an updated real time data base for the Nigerian road networks.
According to him, it is a software which will be an updated real time data base for the Nigerian road networks.
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed the PPP project is the way to go “if we are to bridge the wide infra­structure gap” in the country.
Speaking, the Director-General of ICRC, Mr Chidi Izuwah, also appealed to persons who want to be part of the initiative to do the right thing by going through the proper channel.
On her part, Director, Public Private Partnership Collaboration in the ministry, Mrs Eucharia Alozie, said that the HDMI initiative would be of two folds, Value Added Concessioner (VAC) and the Unbundled Assets Approval (UAA).
Alozie added that the regulatory framework was going to represent the structure where the value added concessionaire would be working directly with the ministry, adding that the ministry would be working with ICRC who is the regulators.
“The roles and responsibilities of each regulatory framework for both have been outlined and each body must adhere to the approvals.
“This is to ensure that the provision and constant update of all designs, standards and policies relevant to the highways maintenance and development are maintained,’’ Alozie said.
The meeting which was organised by the Lagos Business School had in attendance the Ministers of Aviation, Finance, Labour, Transport, the Attorney General of the Federation and other stakeholders.

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