The federal government has announced that 18 companies applied to take over 12 roads to be concessioned under the Highway Development and Management Initiative, HDMI.
Speaking at a press briefing Wednesday in Abuja, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, stated that the new direction the government is heading to fund road infrastructure would “unlock capital in excess of possibly a trillion naira” if the programme succeeds.
Recall that the ministry had in 2020 announced the HDMI which contains value-added concessions (VAC) and the unbundled asset approvals (UAA) of the roads, signaling a return of toll gates to Nigeria’s highway as private companies would be responsible for their maintenance and management.
Fashola added that the concession is a good way to source funds to maintain the nation’s highways as the federal government continues to face a paucity of funds.
“Considering where we started in 2015 where all money available to fund road infrastructure in this country was the 2015 budget of N18bn but we have moved from there and raised SUKUKs; we have innovated and initiated tax credit schemes which was brought up; Dangote, BUA, NLNG, NNPC and other companies putting their feet into water to contribute to constructing our road infrastructure. We have also innovated and recovered some of our common patrimony taken out of this country to overseas. President Buhari has recovered some of the money they have put into the presidential infrastructure development fund.”
The minister said out of the 18 companies shortlisted, only 11 successfully submitted their Request For Proposal (RFP) while 16 RFP were made in total.
He added that the successful companies to be picked would go to rigorous perusal to avoid any form of hindrance on the commencement of the initiative.