Signs that succour is on the way for residents, motorists and business concerns along Apapa/Wharf road emerged yesterday, when the Federal Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) towards reconstruction of Apapa/Wharf road.
Firms involved in the MoU include, AG. Dangote, a construction company based in Brazil, which will provide technical expertise; Flour Mills of Nigeria and the Nigerian Ports Authority.
Under the arrangement, AG Dangote is to finance the project estimated to cost about N4.34b, in partnership with Flour Mills and the NPA, while the Federal Government is to act in supervisory capacity.
The project, to be executed in concrete design as opposed to the usual asphalt, is expected to eliminate the burden occasioned by heavy-duty trucks and containerized vehicles, as well as, guarantee longevity of the road.
Speaking at the occasion, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said the partnership is expected to bring an end to the massive inconveniences to businesses and residents of Apapa over the years.
Fashola acknowledged the leadership role of Dangote group, Flour Mills and the Nigerian Ports Authority in coming up with a reconstruction design that addresses the drainage problem occasioned by the swampy nature of Apapa and Ijora axis.
He pointed out that “this place used to be Nigeria’s first industrial estate serving as the network of roads to move cargo in and out of the port, but for many decades, we have allowed the road system to go into disuse due to absence of rail system.”
He said the N4.3b bill would be sourced and paid for by the three groups working together, adding that choice of the construction company was based on the fact that they are going to use concrete.
In his speech, the Honourary Adviser to the President/CEO, Dangote Group Mr. Joseph Makoju, said the idea of taking up the road is to ensure business sustainability and make life more convenient for residents in the area and to serve as a contribution towards infrastructural development.
The occasion was witnessed by the Managing Director of Nigerian Port Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director of Flour Mills of Nigeria, Mr. Paul Gbededo, Chief Executive Officer of AG-Dangote, Ashif Juma, representatives of Truck Owners, Petroleum Haulage, Maritime Operators, Stakeholders, residents, representatives of businesses in Apapa and its immediate environment.