The federal government through the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has signed a N4.34 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dangote Group, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Flour Mills of Nigeria for the reconstruction of the Wharf Road, Apapa, Lagos.
The road was consequently handed over to the three stakeholders for commencement of the reconstruction works after the agreement was signed in Lagos yesterday. The construction of the road will be handled by Dangote Construction and it’s billed to last one year as business operators and residents in the area are expected to experience severe traffic hiccups and gridlock throughout the duration of the reconstruction.
The 2km road begins from the Nigerian Port Authority to the end of the Apapa bridge. Dangote had initially agreed to singlehandedly undertake the reconstruction of the bad road at the cost of N1.5 billion, albeit with different construction dimensions. But when a team put together by Fashola reviewed the details of the project, it discovered that the N1.5 billion project cost proposed could not stand the test of time, given the dimensions indicated in the details of the project. Fears were entertained that it would in no time give way too.
While speaking at the signing ceremony, Fashola said the choice of the transporters to use road instead of rail for haulage increased the gridlock and caused degeneration as well as hardship to residents of Apapa. Also, that the deplorable state of the road in Apapa had caused stress to residents, business owners and other stakeholders in the state, adding: “As a result of all these unsavory practices, we have reached a point of near total gridlock. It is difficult to move cargo in or out; difficult for residents to get home and this must stop,” he said.The minister explained that it took time to reach an agreement on the project, because the stakeholders were putting up an effective design that would address the drainage problem since the area was waterlogged.
“We have finished with the design, we now have a Bill of Quantity and the cost of the road is N4.34 billion to be funded and paid for by these three groups, Flour Mills of Nigeria, AG Dangote Construction Company Ltd and NPA,” he said.