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FG plans to explore public-private partnership in road construction

The Federal Government (FG) has said it is considering Public-Private Partnership (PPP) option in the funding of roads construction across the country.

The minister of State for Power, Works, and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri, disclosed this on Thursday during the inspection of the dualization of Benin-Auchi-Okene end of the Lokoja-Abuja road.

“Government is looking for other sources of funding for road project. As you all know, road project is capital intensive and at the same time the financial capability of government to fund all the roads projects is not there; so, we are looking at Public Private Partnership (PPP), where private sector will come in and take some of these roads that are bad which is global practice,” he said.

According to him, “when we came in in 2015, the total budget for the work sector was N45billion but in 2016, we increased the budget to N287billion so that contractors can go back to the site,”.

Shehuri said due to paucity of fund, the federal government secured SUKUK Bond to fund road projects across the country and that it is still looking for other sources of funding.

The minister, who frowned at the slow pace work by the contractors, said it is unacceptable that the road project started about six years ago has not reached an appreciable stage.

“You have to improve on your work because you are not putting in your best. You have been on this work for about six years and have not reached an appreciable stage. You people (contractor) must improve on your work and at our end, we will look for ways of funding,” he said.

While stressing that the road is very important to the Federal Government (FG), he ordered that the failed portion of the road should be rehabilitated to ease the suffering of road users travelling for the Christmas season.

Responding, the Project Manager, MotherCat, Joubran Saadeh, said they have only received a small portion of the Sukuk bond and that they have completed about 10 kilometers of the 26.7klm awarded to the company.

He said they have the challenge of right of way in doing the work as many people affected by the project are yet to be compensated, assuring that the failed portion of the road would be rehabilitated to ensure free vehicular movement during the festive period.

Reports show that among the roads inspected by the minister, were Okene-Auchi section being handled by MotherCat, Auchi-Ekpoma section being handled by Dantata and Sawoe and Benin-Ekhor section being handled by Reynold Construction Company (RCC)

Credit: Daily Trust

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