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Nigerian govt mulls partnership with bank for $35bn to execute concrete road projects



Minister of Works, David Umahi, has disclosed that the federal government needs $35bn to be able to embark on the construction of concrete roads across the country.

He noted that government was planning a partnership with a commercial bank which will be assented to by the federal executive council.

Umahi who made the revelation when he paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Steel Development, Shuaib Audu, at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday, also noted that the now moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company would provide 16 per cent of the steel material needed for the construction of Nigeria’s roads in concrete pavement.

In a statement issued on his behalf by his Chief Press Secretary, Orji Uchenna, the minister said the meeting underscored the imperative of coordination, cooperation, and coherence in the execution of the federal government’s action plans for national development.

Uchenna said the two ministers resolved to synergise and strategise on steps to tap into the opportunities in the Ajaokuta Steel Plant for the development of road infrastructure in Nigeria.

Read also: Our concrete tech for road rehabilitation‘ll last 50 years —Umahi, Works Minister

“How do we reactivate the Ajaokuta Steel? We are going into the concrete road, in this concrete road, about 16 per cent of it is from steel while 30 per cent is cement. We need a lot of money to start but we decided to face it and God has given us an idea,” Umahi said.

The former Ebonyi State governor further explained that the funding for the projects would be gotten through a partnership with a commercial bank which will be assented to by the federal executive council.

“We need about $35 billion to start. If we start waiting for FG, it might become difficult. We analyzed the Return on Investment and the profit we could have made, part of it will go to bank interest. We are looking at a partnership with a commercial bank but Federal Executive Council has to endorse it. If this could be done, it means Mr President is living up to his words and this is going to be possible.”

He added that tapping into the opportunities in the steel industry would create jobs and wealth for Nigerians and encourage global market industrialisation.

“One of the renewed hope agendas of Mr President is to think outside the box. Mr President inherited a large chunk of debt from the past administration, the beauty about it is that he is not complaining, he knew how the country was before he took the job and how it is. The good thing is that if you have passion for something God will give you an idea.”

In his remark, Audu stressed on the importance of the initiative and expressed hope that it would provide the needed economic boost for the nation, generate revenue and provide thousands of direct jobs for skilled and non-skilled technicians and hundreds of thousands of unskilled jobs in Nigeria stressing that,

“We are to achieve three things, one to create job opportunity for Nigerians as a whole, two, to ensure that the corridor around the North Central Zone and the Ajaokuta-Warri axis is busy with activities and thirdly, the plant has been inactive for close to four decades and we are here to restart the plant within the shortest possible time,” he noted.

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