The President and Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, says Nigeria loses $1bn (about N197bn) annually due to poor condition of roads in the country.
He said this on Friday during the inauguration of the 24km Itori-Ibese Concrete Road in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State, which his company constructed in collaboration with a Brazilian construction company, Andrade Gutierrez.
Dangote said the decision to introduce concrete roads in Nigeria was in line with what obtained in other parts of the world. The businessman said apart from being about 25 per cent cheaper than conventional asphalt roads, concrete roads last longer and do not require frequent maintenance.
Dangote made reference to Marine Drive, a popular concrete road in Mumbai, India, which was built in 1939, adding that such roads have the capacity of saving about $3m on maintenance cost annually.
The businessman said that the construction of the road was conceived in 2014 to allow his heavy duty trucks move from Ibese plant to other parts of the state and the country.
According to him, he also got approval from the Federal Government to construct Papalanto-Sagamu Road, which is in a deplorable state.
He explained that the Ijora/Apapa- Wharf Road in Lagos State, which is being reconstructed using concede cement as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility, would be delivered before the end of the year.
He, however, appealed to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), to assist in completing the engineering design and preliminary works to ensure early commencement of the road project.
On his own part, Fashola described the construction of concrete roads as a perfect way of adapting to climate change.
Fashola, who defended the investments of the Federal Government in the budget of his ministries for 2016, said less than N30bn was allocated to the three ministries in the previous year.
He said that in the last three years, contractors had not received any money from the government, which he blamed for the deplorable condition of power, roads and housing in the country.
The minister explained that the final letter of award of the 42.5 kilometre Obajana-Kabba Road was signed on Thursday and ready for pick-up by the company.
Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, lauded the company for the intervention, but sought its help and that of the construction firm in the reconstruction of other roads that are in deplorable condition in the state, using concrete.