by OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos
President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has lauded the decision of the federal government to reconstruct the failed Apapa Wharf road as a huge loss of close to N140 billion to the government on a weekly basis.
Dangote who spoke to newsmen, yesterday in Lagos said, “The economy loses more than N20 billion daily. It affects businesses across the country. All our operations in the hinterland in Ilorin, in Kano are operating at 40 per cent maximum capacity.”
Dangote said: “Today there is no linkage road going from South West to the North. You have to go all the way through Ajaokuta, Obajana, lokoja and you have to go by that uncompleted road Obasanjo started 13 years ago.’’
He added that, “We cannot just sit and have a road like that where it is the heart of the trade of the country. More than 60 per cent of our country’s import and exports come through the port and we leave it un-attended. That is why we started on our own. Flour mills said they will join us, but now government changed the design because they want all the cables and pipes underground and to have a more robust solution.”
According to him, both Dangote and Flour Mills are pumping in over N2.5 billion for two kilometre double lane on each side making a total of four kilometre.
It would be recalled that the federal government last weekend handed over the troubled road to Dangote Industries Limited and Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN) for immediate reconstruction with concrete overlay.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the construction of the road was signed by the federal government, Dangote Industries, Nigerian Port Authority and Flourmill Nigeria.
The construction work to be handled by AG Dangote, a civil construction company, and joint venture between Dangote Group and AG of Brazil, would utilise concrete slabs as against asphalt, common with road construction in this part of the world.
AG Dangote is not new to road construction; they have successfully constructed concrete roads in Ibese, Ogun State and currently working on roads in Obajana, Kogi State and also in Benin City, Edo state.
Managing director and chief executive of AG Dangote, Ashif Jumar in a chat with the media also said, “We are building a four kilometer concrete dual carriage road that has a life span of over 40years. It is a rigid pavement road of 250 millimeters thickness with solid underlying materials. We have already mobilized to site, but our major challenge is the chaotic Apapa traffic and the inclement rainy season. I appeal for patience an