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Dangote: Sustaining Advocacy For Concrete Roads

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Experts have said for Nigeria to achieve its long desired road infrastructural development, it must embrace the use of concrete for road construction, which the AG-Dangote construction company Limited has been in the forefront advocating for.

The road infrastructure in Nigeria remains the backbone of its social and economic activities, as economic development is closely related to the extension and condition of road development.

Generally, roads are considered a country’s biggest public capital asset, as it can contribute immensely to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The experts said for Nigeria to achieve a national economic growth and development, an efficient road transport network has a critical role to play adding that good road network across the country would greatly make positive impact in our national life. It would facilitate opening up of the rural areas, enhance investment and socio-economic activities, reduce accident rate as well as promote international perception index of Nigeria; thereby attracting Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) which is critical to economic growth.

For this reason, AG-Dangote Construction Company and other experts in the built environment have continued to clamour for a change of strategy and approach in road construction and management.

The clamour is not without justification. For instance, experts say while concrete roads have a long service life of 40 years, asphalt roads last for 10 years. Aside their durability, concrete roads are more environmentally friendly compared to asphalt roads.

Concrete roads do not require frequent repairs or patch works like asphalt roads. Besides, advancements in concrete technology have reduced the cost of concrete paving while improving performance greatly. For instance, the average life span of concrete pavements is 27.5 years before repair, while asphalt pavements have an average life span of only 15.5 years before repair. Also, studies show that concrete interstate pavements cost 13-28 per cent less in the long run than asphalt interstate pavements.

Concrete roads do not require frequent repairs or patch works like asphalt roads. Besides, advancements in concrete technology have reduced the cost of concrete paving while improving performance greatly. For instance, the average life span of concrete pavements is 27.5 years before repair, while asphalt pavements have an average life span of only 15.5 years before repair. Also, studies show that concrete interstate pavements cost 13-28 per cent less in the long run than asphalt interstate pavements.

The AG-Dangote construction company recently urged governments at all levels and engineers to switch over to rigid pavement for road construction, saying it is more affordable, durable, safer and stronger.

Dangote Group’s executive director, Stakeholders Management and Corporate Communications, Engr. Ahmed Mansur led the delegation of the Dangote Group at this year’s Engineering Assembly with the theme, “The Nigerian Built Industry: Building a Sustainable Structure with Allied Professionals.”

Representative of the AG-Dangote, Engr. Tunde Jimoh who made the appeal at the ongoing Engineering Assembly of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) in Abuja said the maximum life cycle of flexible pavements known as Asphalt road is about 20 years, saying that the life cycle of a rigid pavement or concrete road is 40 years or more.

He said, “the pavement type chosen depends on a number of factors which includes: Expected traffic wheel loads, load repetitions, cost of construction, maintenance, among others.”

He said the AG Dangote is currently constructing the longest concrete road in the country located in Kogi State. The Obajana-Kabba road, he added, is a 43 kilometer (km) concrete road project due to be commissioned in December, saying that the 24km Itori-Ibese concrete road has since been delivered.

Jimoh who is the company’s project manager said it is set to deliver the dual carriage Apapa Wharf Road in Lagos this month. According to him, this vision of the development of Concrete roads in Africa is being shared by more Leaders and Governments. The implementation of concrete roads can revolutionize infrastructural development in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

He added that the cost of maintenance of asphalt roads is higher four to seven times than concrete roads, saying the raw material for concrete can be locally sourced.

Also, chairman of Dangote Cement, Aliko Dangote recently also reiterated his plea to the federal government to urgently consider the use of concrete roads in the country.

He said, it would be to the benefit of Nigerians and even the federal government to embrace the option of using concrete for roads in the country. Aside being cheap, he said concrete roads are more durable and that its maintenance cost is near zero.

He said, “We are pushing for Nigeria to do a concrete road. It is cheaper to do a concrete road that will last 50 years than to do a bitumen road. It will also help in eliminating corruption because if you go and build a bitumen road, it will have to be adequately maintained unlike a concrete road that is very durable.”

Also, the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers (NISTRUCTE) believed it’s time for the nation to switch over to the use of concrete for road construction.

President of the Association, Mr. Samuel Ilugbekhai, recently said, “Concrete pavements have been found durable and last longer than bituminous roads. The time has come when Nigeria should step up the use of concrete for roads especially now that the country has increased its potential to produce cement at lower prices and even exporting to other countries.”

He lamented that the country’s dilapidated roads have become death traps, while the economic cost to the nation is becoming too high.

AG Dangote is a joint venture between Andrade-Gutierrez of Brazil and the Dangote Group. AG was founded in 1948 in Brazil, and is one of the biggest construction firms in the country.



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