Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has said the Federal Government’s Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI) would create 50,000 direct and over 200,000 indirect jobs.
He made the disclosure at a national conference on transportation infrastructure development financing in Nigeria, in Abuja.
Tagged “Sustainable funding for transport infrastructure development in Nigeria” the conference was organised by the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, Zaria. It sought ways to sustain funding for transport Infrastructure in Nigeria.
Fashola said road transportation accounts for 95 per cent of all freight and passenger movement in Nigeria, making it a strategic economic tool for Nigeria’s economic growth and prosperity.
He said the Federal Government’s ongoing road works presented’ ample opportunities for investors.
“HDMI is expected to, among other things, utilise private sector funds to bring about order, accountability and attract sustainable investment and funding in the development of road infrastructure and maximise the use of assets along the Federal Highways Right of Way (RoW).”
He said under the government’s Value Added Concession (VAC), 75 investors submitted bids for the Request for Qualification and that 18 of the firms have been shortlisted for the next stage of the procurement process Request for Proposal(RFP).
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who presented the lead paper, opined that infrastructure investment required continuous maintenance and replenishment of the infrastructure stock of any country.
Stakeholders at the conference including Ecobank MD, Patrick Akinwutan; DG, Debt Management Office, Ms. Patience Oniha; Prof. Bamidele Badejo of the Obafemi Awolowo University, identified transport Infrastructure as key to facilitating the realisation of aspirations for rapid socioeconomic development necessary for uplifting the standards of living of the citizens.