- Says $25bn focused lab investment begins March 5
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) wednesday said it had completed the design for the reconstruction of a major part of Apapa-Oworonshoki expressway in Lagos meant to be concessioned to Dangote Group and consequently handed it to the company.
The council also approved the augmentation of the contract cost for the construction of trailer and truck park on Tin Can Island in Lagos from the initial N8.66 billion to N9.55 billion.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who made the disclosure while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly FEC meeting in the State House, said the truck park project which was part of the move to ease acute traffic crisis along the collapsed Oshodi – Apapa express way, would be completed this year.
â€œThe Ministry of Power, Works and Housing presented only one memo – a memorandum seeking the augmentation of the price due to the need for increased scope of work especially shoreline protection of the Tin Can Trailer and Truck Pack, which is almost finished.
â€œIt is an ongoing project. We sought councilâ€™s approval to augment the price from N8.66 billion to N9.553 billion which was an augmentation of N892.177. 289 million. We expect that truck pack will now be completed this year and it will be one of the many multi-prong efforts being pursued to give relief to the Apapa area, to facilitate vehicular truck and trailer movement and also maritime and import and export business and general economic activity for Apapa in particular, Lagos at large and the country as a whole. The memorandum was approved,â€ Fashola said.
Fashola who also provided clarification on the planned concession of the reconstruction of some parts of Apapa – Oshodi express way as well as Ijora end to Wharf Road, disclosed the planned collaborative reconstruction agreement between Dangote Group, Flour Mills and Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) as their corporate social responsibility. He also highlighted the challenges posed by the move.
According to Fashola, the portion conceded to Dangote Group for reconstruction between the Apapa Creek Road and Coconut bridge had been designed and handed over to the Dangote Group, explaining that the next move is to go for procurement and eventual FEC approval before the eventual kick-off of the reconstruction.
He said: â€œI think road development is clearly the mandate of the Ministry ofPower,Works and Housing, especially the work sector by legislation. There is multi-agenciesâ€™ collaboration. The Nigerian Port Authority, the Apapa Port, Tin Can Island that are critical to the economy are affected. So, there is multi-agenciesâ€™ interaction and that is what we have been having really and truly.
â€œYou will recall that I briefed you about a four-kilometre stretch between the bridge from the Apapa Police when you are coming from Ijora, just to the junction of Point Road right through to Wharf Road, to the entrance of the Apapa Port. That is the stretch that the Dangote Group, the Flour Mills, and the NPA agreed to do as Corporate Social Responsibility as soon as possible. That is going on. It is a problem because after the works started, we found that the gas lines that supported most of the industries there and keep them in operation were within the right of way.
â€œNow we are faced with two choices – relocate the entire gas line which will cause a lot more in terms of relocation of services and reinstallation which was essentially outside the scope of what was a donation to them or to change the alignment of the road so that we donâ€™t damage that gas pipeline. So, that is what we are dealing with and those who know will tell you that construction in built up areas like where vehicular traffic has to also pass through – cargo gas to move in and out of the port – is not a construction that is always easy to do because we canâ€™t shut down as it were.
â€œThe other side from Creek Road, Liverpool Road to the Coconut Bridge Tin Can Island part, is the part that is going to be concessioned to the Dangote Group which showed interest to take it over, build it under the tax credit scheme of the federal government. That requires first a design so that we can know what the quantities are. We have finished the design. We have handed over the designs to them. It also requires for them to get their engineers to say this is the price of this item or that item. And then, we will now go to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), fix the price because it is public funds, even though they are advancing the money, they are going to claim it back.
â€œSo, we are at that process. We have finished the evaluation process on the sections involving Liverpool Road and the first five kilometers out of the Tin Can. So, as soon as we get BPP approval, we will come back to FEC because this is public fund for which they will claim tax credit back. So, we might as well get the price right,â€ he stated.
In his own briefing, the Minister of Budget and Planning, Udo Udoma, said in pursuit of the implementation of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), the government is organising a focused laboratory in March with a target of $25 billion investment.
According to him, the programme will bring in investors with focus on specific sectors such as agriculture, transportation, power, manufacturing and processing, pointing out that a number of federal ministers will be brought on board to drive the programme. He also said the move is aimed at generating a significant sum of money for domestic investment.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had while inaugurating a Nestle project in Agbara, Ogun State last week announced the plan of the government to generate $24 billion from focused laboratories on the implementation of ERGP. The vice-president had also stated that the planned project would generate 150,000 jobs.
Udoma stated that the ongoing implementation of ERGP is yielding positive results as evident in the increasing level of capital inflow, improved foreign reserve which he said now stood at over $40 billion while inflation has continued to trickle down.
According to Udoma, the development only shows that all indices of a growing economy are visible.