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FG's road sector reform will generate $2billion

19 December 2013, 06:59

Abuja - The Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, on Wednesday said the Federal Government’s road sector reforms would generate two billion dollars private investment.

Onolememen made this known when he inaugurated the ministry’s Sky Walk Bridge in Abuja.

He said the minister had put the mechanisms that would trigger the needed private sector involvement in roads construction.

He said government hinged adequate funding of roads in the country on the Public Private Partnership arrangement because public finance alone could not address the parlous state road infrastructure.

“The record of the ministry’s PPP is also an unenviable one.”

“For the first time, we are able to put in motion mechanisms that will ensure that the ministry, within the next two years, is able to raise about two billion U.S. dollars from private sector to fund road development projects.”

“That is the new spirit, the new paradigm in the ministry because we believe that government cannot do it alone.”

The minister gave an update on the progress of work on the Abuja-Lokoja dualisation project, stressing that “with the pace of work on the road, it would be delivered in 2014.”

Onolememen said the administration met the road at about 18 per cent completion level, but through focus and adequate funding, it had reached 70 per cent level.

He said it was to the credit of the present administration that work had commenced on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway after the maintenance of the road suffered neglect while still under concession.

He said the design of the second Niger Bridge had been completed, and construction work on the road would commence in earnest.

He, however, said the Sky Walk Bridge constructed to link the two blocks serving the ministry would enhance productivity and easy movement from one section to the other.

“Before now, if you call a director to come for an urgent assignment, most times, they have to take a drive outside before coming here.”

“This project is a demonstration of the capability of the Federal Ministry of Works to fully harness the potential of its workers for the realisation of the transformation agenda.”

“It will also help to integrate departments in the ministry, especially those between block A and B, and enhance collaboration among members of staff.”

-    NAN

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