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CBN silent on cost of delivering Apapa-Oshodi highway by Dangote

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has inspected the ongoing reconstruction of Apapa Port to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway toll gate being undertaken by the Dangote Group.

Addressing journalists’ weekend during the inspection tour, he used the opportunity to call on other corporate citizens in the country to take advantage of the Presidential Order 7 to raise infrastructure bonds.

Recall that Dangote decided to deliver the highway at his cost relying on the provisions of the Presidential Order 7 which allows companies to embark on federal project with the aim of recouping expenses from tax holidays in equivalent to the value of the work done for the government.

Emefiele, who further explained that the bonds, which are at concessionary rates, would be used to support the Federal Government in its desire to develop infrastructure in Nigeria, failed to give further details on the real cost of the highway which is being bankrolled by Dangote so as to enable Nigerians understand the true value of what Dangote will gain on delivery of the highway for the sake of transparency.

Rather, the CBN boss was quick to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Executive Order Number 7, which opened the opportunity for private companies to intervene in infrastructure.

The new reconstruction is coming on cement rather than bitumen and checks on delivered segments showed excellence in motoring especially between Cele Bus Stop onward Oshodi interchange.

Business Hilights discovered that though Dangote is funding the reconstruction work, it was not being handled by its own AG Dangote Construction Company, but Hitech Construction Group, the contractor that delivered the tolled Lekki-Epe highway.

Efforts to find out why AG Dangote Construction Company, which recently delivered the Apapa-Wharf road with Cement was not in charge of Apapa-Oshodi failed as no official of Hitech or AG Dangote agreed to comment on the development.

However, giving further insights on the emerging new Apapa-Oshodi highway, Emefiele averred that “The Apapa Port road being constructed by the Dangote Group was comparable to those constructed in countries with more developed technology.

“It is a good thing for this country. When we talk about the Ease of Doing Business, you can imagine a situation whereby people have been complaining about the ease of transporting their goods out of the Apapa port,” he said.

CBN boss therefore commended Alhaji Aliko Dangote for taking the initiative and expressed the hope that the road would ease the traffic challenge on the route, particularly for trucks conveying cleared heavy-duty goods from the ports.

Commenting on the local content advantage of the construction, Emefiele said “This is 100 per cent local content. Dangote uses his cement on this road, the rods I understand are coming from African Foundries that smelted waste steel, which is converted into iron bars and is being used for the road.”

Responding, Dangote assured that the first phase of the construction would be ready before the end of December 2019.