In recognition of the utilitarian values of Public Private Partnership (PPP) to the populace, Central Bank chief, Godwin Emefiele has called for bigger participation of corporate bodies in the infrastructure bond market.
He made the disclosure at the weekend while taking a tour of the Apapa Port to Lagos Ibadan Expressway Road currently reconstructed by Messrs Dangote Group.
Beyond the possibility of accessing infrastructure bonds at concessionary rates, private sector players equally enjoy the benefit of having the cost of executing road projects on government’s behalf deducted from their aggregate three-year taxes. Emefiele applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the directive backing this up as stipulated in Presidential Order Number 7.
He further asserted that leveraging this offer would support government’s giant stride to combat sweeping infrastructural deficit for the common good of all Nigerians.
“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, Mr Emefiele noted.
The CBN governor acknowledged the efforts of Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group, in implementing a project of this quality.
“These are the kind of roads we see when we travel abroad. It is a good thing for this country. When we talk about the Ease of Doing Business, you can imagine a situation where people have been complaining about the ease of transporting their goods out of the Apapa port.
“I am very delighted that Alhaji Dangote has taken the initiative. After clearing goods at the ports, there should be a solid road where these trucks can pass through to make life easy for people. These roads certainly would open up Nigeria and Lagos.
“Talking again about local content, this is 100 per cent local content. Alhaji Dangote uses his cement on this road, the rods, I understand, are coming from African Foundries that smelt waste steel, which is converted into iron bars and are being used for the road.”
On his part, Dangote gave the assurance that the first phase of the project would be delivered before the end of this year, sixteen months ahead of the deadline set by government.
“We started the road right from the port at Apapa. We are building 10 lanes – five lanes on each side – and there is drainage on both sides and streetlight. It is a concrete road. It is the first heavy concrete road that is up to about 35 kilometres. We would also maintain it for five years. This road will last up to 100 years.
“Government gave us 36 months to complete this project, but I can assure you that we would finish it in 15 months. We should be able to finish before the end of next year.
“I can assure you that this portion of the road that is under construction would be completed before the end of the year.”
He added, “We want to go a little bit further before we inform Mr. President. But in the coming days, we are going to inform the Minister of Finance and Minister of Works and Housing about the progress so far.”