President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has revealed that Nigeria loses close to N140 billion on weekly basis due to the gridlock on the Oshodi – Apapa Wharf road.
Dangote, who spoke to media men yesterday, hailed the decision of the Federal Government to reconstruct the failed road, which he described as an embarrassment to the country.
According to him, “The economy loses more than N20 billion daily. It affects businesses across the country. All our operations in the hinterland in Ilorin and Kano are operating at 40per cent capacity.
“Today, there is no road linking the South-West to the North. You have to go all the way through Ajaokuta, Obajana, Lokoja and you have to go through the uncompleted road Obasanjo started 13 years ago.”
Commenting on his resolve to personally get involved in the Apapa Wharf Road reconstruction, he said: “It is very embarrassing! We can’t just sit and have a road like that, in the heart of the country’s trade. More than 60 percent of our country’s import and exports come through the port, and we leave it unattended to. That is why we started on our own and Flour mills said they will join us. But, government changed the design because they want all the cables and pipes underground, to ensure a more robust solution.”
To help in bringing the cost down, Dangote said he forced his company to do it at zero profit.
According to him, “Both Dangote and Flour Mills are pumping in over N2.5 billion for two kilometres double lane on each side, making a total of four kilometres.”
He further said the biggest job “is drainage because that is what is destroying the road. We will make sure this problem is sorted out once and for all. We started discussion with the government over one year ago and we are happy to be given the opportunity to finally fix it.”
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, signed the agreement for the handover of the road, on behalf of the federal government, Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Usman and Joseph Makoju, honorary advisor to Dangote, president of Dangote Group signed for their respective organisations.
The three organisations are embarking on the project as part of their corporate social responsibilities (CSR) to Apapa, where they do their businesses.