The Chairman, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has decried the level of dilapidation of Apapa Road. Dangote, who spoke to journalists at the site of construction in Apapa recently, said that people don’t really understand how much money Nigeria is losing as a result of the bad roads.
According to him, if one quantifies the loss in billions, it is 20 times the cost of the road every single day. He said: “we will make sure we decongest this area. You can see the dangerous things happening there. Now trucks are static on the bridge and these are supposed to be passing weight and not static weight. I think we need to check the stability and credibility of the bridges because they have actually overloaded them. I am a little bit worried about them,” he said.
Dangote who pleaded with the government to remove all the task forces from the way said that only police, LASTMA and FRSC will be allowed. “Only three we need and we are going to write formally to the government to help us and then remove all these agents especially the Federal Unit of Customs. If they want to set up a roadblock I think this is the wrong place to set a roadblock,” he said.
The Chairman of Dangote Group assured Lagosians that the seemingly abandoned Apapa roads will be reconstructed and delivered for use on or before June this year, adding that the quality of the road is such that can last for two generations.
Dangote said that going by the efforts the trio of Messrs Dangote Group, Flour Mills Nigeria (FMN) and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) are making to fix Apapa roads, commuters and business owners in the area will soon heave a sigh of relief as the roads will be finished and delivered by June 2018.
While fielding questions from newsmen on the terms and ratio of commitment of the trio, Dangote said the entire road is costing N4.3 billion. He noted that NPA will be contributing about N1.8 billion while the rest of the money which is N2.6 billion is going to be given free of charge both by Flour Mills of Nigeria and Dangote. “But I must also caution that the cost of the road is not open because we got our own construction company to do it at a cost,” he said.
He said, “the construction company is building it at a cost and you can go and ask anybody. After we finish the road, you can bring Julius Berger and other construction companies and when they cost the road, you will see they will double the price.
Dangote who was impressed at the progress of work rekindled hope that very soon, commuters will smile as the traffic on the road will become a thing of the past. He said, “AG Dangote is doing excellent job. The road construction is funded by Dangote, Flour Mills and NPA. The quality of the road is really very impressive and amazing because we thought we are just doing a normal road but even in Germany you cannot see this kind of road. This road will last at least a minimum of two generations.
“It is so solid it can take any weight, any traffic and they are doing a great job. Look at the quality of the job they are doing. It is not only doing a job that after two, three years contractors will have to come back. I can assure you, once we leave this job, none of us who are alive will actually see the end of this road. That is how solid the road is going to be. They have had challenges in the past because of the gas pipeline that we are laying and some electrical pipelines which is lately done by ministry’s engineers.
“They have actually done something very creative to move some of those pipes away and some of those pipes have given us a lot of time. We are now going to double our efforts to work day and night to make sure that this road will be delivered latest by the end of June. By end of June, this traffic here will be off,” he said.