The President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote yesterday said the Federal Government loses about N140billion weekly because of the deplorable condition of the Apapa ports access roads.
He, however lauded, the government’s decision to reconstruct the failed Apapa Wharf road.
“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.
“Today, there is no linkage road going from Southwest 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.”
“It is very embarrassing. We can’t 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 unattended to. 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.”
To help in bringing the cost down, he explained that he forced his company to do it at zero profit. According to him, “Both Dangote and Flour Mills are pumping in over N2.5billion for 2km double lane on each side making a total of 4km”.
He further explained that the biggest job “is drainage because that is what is destroying the road. We will make sure this problem is sorted out once and for all. This thing should not be allowed to happen. We started discussion with the government over oner year and we are happy that we have been given the opportunity to finally fix it.”
The Federal Government had over the 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, DIL, Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) and the Federal Ministry of Works.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) signed the agreement for the handover of the road, on behalf of the Federal Government, while the Managing Director, NPA, Hadiza Usman,and Joseph Makoju, honorary advisor to Aliko Dangote, signed for their respective organisations.
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