The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Friday said the procurement of highway concessions would commence forthwith with the receipt of the certificate of compliance under the Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI).
In a press statement by the Director (Press and Public Relations) Boade Akinola, Fashola said the initiative is to facilitate development of Nigeria’s federal highway network by bringing in investment to improve efficiency, accountability and profitable entrepreneurship to the management and maintenance of all assets within the Right of Way on the highways.
“The HDMI has affirmed the present administration’s commitment to infrastructure development funding driven by the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme Order of 2018 , the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), managed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the SUKUK Fund.”
He noted this would allow the private sector to fund and participate in the development of critical infrastructure across the country.
Speaking at the official handover of the Certificate of Compliance, he explained that HDMI was a fully home-grown idea to deliver a safer and enjoyable travel experience for Nigerian road users as travel time would be shortened and cost reduced with commercial activities stimulated.
“HDMI is an indigenous Land Value Capture scheme conceived by the Ministry to develop Nigeria’s network of federal highway corridors and boost economic development along the Right of Way. It will be executed in two parts comprising Value Added Concession (VAC) and Unbundled Assets Approval (UAA),” he said.
Its economic benefits
He added that apart from infrastructure and asset development, thousands of jobs would be created as the initiative would open up the highway economy and opportunities in various economic activities.
“This will include fabrication of gantries and directional signage with advertising opportunities, towing van operations and auto repair stations, operation of rest areas and emergency services, among others.
“Therefore, when fully operational road users will now enjoy first-class facilities on federal highways with directional signage, well-equipped rest areas, round-the-clock security patrol, and ambulance services for emergencies.”
Dwindling revenue affecting FG capacity to maintain highways
In his remarks, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Babangida Hussaini, noted that the development, expansion and maintenance of federal highways have increasingly become a herculean task to government due to dwindling revenues and other compelling public service obligations.
Thus, to mitigate this challenge, the ministry has adopted the option of exploring the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, which sought to employ the private sector’s technical competencies, managerial capabilities and financial resources to salvage the federal road networks.