Damilola Oyedele in Abuja â€¨
The federal government may have agreed to enter a funding agreement in a Public-Private PartnershipÂ (PPP) deal with Bi-Courtney Highways Limited to ensure the timely construction and rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway project.
The issue was the crux of discussion at a meeting wednesday evening in the National Assembly, where it was also agreed that Motorways Assets Limited would be part of the PPP arrangement for the expressway.
The reconstruction of the highway was concessioned to Bi-Courtney in 2009 under a Build, Operate and Transfer deal, but was revoked in 2012, allegedly because the company violated some terms of the agreement.
Wednesdayâ€™s meeting which held behind closed doors, and had in attendance the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje, and his Finance counterpart, Senator John Enoh.
It also had in attendance, the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Highways Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin and the Chairman of Motorways Asset Limited, Mr. Abdulrasaq Oyinloye.
Adeosun declined to speak with journalists after the meeting, but sources told THISDAY that the federal government and the Senate agreed that the expressway must be completed as soon as possible.
â€œWe also expect that the expressway must be completed in such a manner that it will be a model for infrastructural development in this country,â€ a source said.
Another source added that under the new agreement, Bi-Courtney and Motorways are expected to merge their current concessions into a new company which would be a special purpose vehicle for the project.
The government would provide the new company with financial instruments, through which it can raise the necessary funds.
â€œThe underlining objective of the new agreement is to ensure that quality work is done on the road which is said to be central to the nationâ€™s economy and that the work is completed in the shortest time possible. Very soon, all parties would sign a formal agreement on this deal,â€ the source said.