Of all Nigerian highways, none compares with the 137-kilometre Lagos – Ibadan Express Road in terms of vehicular traffic and socio-economic importance to the nation.
Abuja – The process required for the funding of the reconstruction and rehabilitation of 25 major economic roads in the six geopolitical zones of the Nigeria using a N100bn sovereign sukuk was completed on Thursday.
According to the government, each geopolitical zone is to get an equal amount of N16.67bn for the rehabilitation of selected roads.
Last month, the Federal Government commenced the sale of the N100bn sovereign Sukuk in the local market to fund road infrastructure.
The Debt Management Office had announced that the seven-year Islamic bond, which was structured as a lease, would yield 16.47 percent rental rate, payable semi-annually.
The ministers of Power, Works and Housing, and Finance, Babtunde Fashola and Kemi Adeosun, as well as the Director-General, DMO, Patience Oniha, met with heads of about 10 construction companies in Abuja on Thursday, where Adeosun presented the N100bn cheque to Fashola for the projects.
The Finance minister stated that the Sukuk was over-subscribed, as over N105bn was realized, adding that N100bn was pulled out for the purpose of road construction.
She said, “This is the first sukuk in Nigeria and it is an important development in our financial market because it will deepen it. It was over-subscribed; we got N105.87bn and we are giving N100bn to the ministry of works. This money is going to be used for economic roads.”
The government outlined the number of roads to be rehabilitated in each of the zones to include five each in the North-Central and South-South; four each in the North-East, North-West and South-East; and three in the South-West.
Arab Contractor Nigeria Limited, CGC Nigeria, CCECC Nigeria Limited, Salini Nigeria Limited, Reynolds Construction Company Nigeria Limited and Setraco Nigeria Limited are some of the beneficiary contractors.
Others are Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria Limited, Eksiogullari Nigeria Limited, Mothercat Limited and Gitto Constrizon Generali Limited.
Punch correspondent gathered from officials of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing that the Oyo-Ogbomoso section of the Ibadan-Ilorin Expressway, on which reconstruction work has stalled, was among the roads to benefit from the N16.67bn for the South-West.
The projects also include the Obajana-Okene road in Kogi State; Aba-Port Harcourt road in Rivers State; Ajebandele-Sagamu road that goes through Ondo and Ogun states; and the Kaduna Eastern by-pass in Kaduna State.
Fashola said when the rehabilitation work on the selected roads would be completed, the facilities would significantly improve road transportation and economic activities across the country, as they were of vital economic importance to Nigeria.
Addressing the contractors, he said, “First of all, I think the problems that you identified earlier when we met were mainly two, finance and weather. And I promised you that we would solve the financial problem and nature would take care of the weather problem.
“The Minister of Finance is here and you will hear from her because already the finance problem has been solved.”
With reports from the PUNCH