Lawan Urges FG to Adopt PPP Approach in Construction of Major Roads

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By Chuks Okocha and Udora Orizu

President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, yesterday urged the executive arm of government to adopt a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) approach so that necessary funding needed for the completion of some major roads in the country will be provided by investors.

Lawan made the appeal in his contribution in support of a motion on the need for the construction of the Badagry/Sokoto expressway, which was sponsored by Senator Umar Sadiq Suleiman and 11 others.

He noted that the government needed not to provide all the funding, hence the need to come up with a proposal on how these roads would be funded.

According to him, “If roads, including those that may be termed not economically viable, are neglected, the communities in those areas will never see improved prosperity.

“There are some roads you construct or build through PPP arrangements. But the government is supposed to consider some roads, especially those that may be termed not economically viable, because, if you neglect them, the communities in those areas will never see correct prosperity-where roads are supposed to help provide that.

“This is a major road, and there will be a lineup of investors wanting to invest. Since we have companies that are willing-there are many consortiums that came into Nigeria seeking to invest on roads-so we should provide the legislative support and comfort for such companies to feel that when they invest, they are able to get back profits. We should be on same page with the executive arm of government, and our committees should engage the Federal Ministry of Works in particular to ensure that this particular road sees some kind of revival.”

Moving the motion earlier, Suleiman noted that the Badagry-Sokoto expressway is a federal government road which connects 12 states.

He stressed that he was aware that the road was initiated as part of the fourth National Development Plan, which was commenced by the General Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd) regime in 1978, but was abandoned in 1979, over 40 years now after he handed over power to late President Shehu Shagari.

According to him, “The road, if constructed, will boost food and agricultural production, sustain youth employment and employability as well as improve cross-border market and international trade.