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Barely three days after Dr. Wale Babalakin, chairman of the former concessionaire of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited opened up on the N200b owed one of his companies in the aviation sector following an award of cost to his company by a Court ruling, the Federal Government is considering a proposal to involve his company in the fresh concessioning round of the same road.
Another permutation on why Babalakin was involved could be to secure a soft landing that will encourage him to withdraw the ongoing suit against the government on the revocation of the road concession in the first instance.
It was not clear if the new plot is designed by the government to give back road to former manager in view of the said debt which government has not officially responded to.
However, there is indication that government is looking at an arrangement that would see Bi-Courtney and the new concessionaire, Motorways Assets Limited, jointly form a special purpose vehicle to source for funds, complete the project and manage the road afterwards.
Observers closer to the deal say if parties agree, Bi-Courtney, which had challenged the revocation of its concession agreement by the Federal Government may withdraw the substantive suit against the revocation.
An expert in development finance averred that part of the reasons behind the new window of settlement may be to remove the road from the list of infrastructure on which the Federal Government was spending most of its resources on since the concessionaire would now look for funds to complete the road.