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FG requires $35 bn for construction of concrete roads nationwide-Umahi

Lagos-Calabar road: FG moves to pay compensation to property owners

David Umahi, the minister of works, on Tuesday, said that the federal government requires $35bn to commence concrete road construction, stating that 16 percent of materials needed will be from steel and 30 percent from cement.

Umahi disclosed this during a meeting with Shuaib Audu, Minister of Steel Development in Abuja.

Umahi, in a statement issued by his chief press secretary, Orji Uchenna, said that the Ministry of Steel Development would play a major role in the road infrastructure revolution plan envisioned by President Tinubu by providing more than 16 per cent of the materials needed for the construction of Nigeria’s roads in concrete pavement.

He said that tapping into the opportunities in the steel industry would create jobs and wealth for Nigeria’s population, create a global market, and encourage industrialization.

“How do we reactive Ajaokuta Steel? We are going into a concrete road; in this concrete road, about 16 per cent of it is from steel while 30 per cent is cement. We need a lot of money to start, but we decided to face it, and God has given us an idea, we need about 35 billion dollars to start.

“If we start waiting for FG it might become difficult. We did return on investment (ROI), and part of the profit we could have made will go to bank interest. We are looking at commercial banks, but the Federal Executive Council has to endorse it. If this could be done, it would mean Mr. President is living up to his words, and this will be possible.

“One of the renewed hope agenda of Mr President is to think outside the box, Mr President inherited a large chunk of debt from the past administration. The beauty of it is that he is not complaining, he knew how the country was before he took the job and how it is. The good thing is that if you have passion for something, God will give you an idea,” he said.

Read also Rehabilitation of Third Mainland Bridge won’t make motorists inconvenient, Umahi assures

According to Umahi, the steel industry is the bedrock of Nigeria’s industrialization and the backbone that stimulates national development and provides an economic boost for the industrial growth of any nation.

In his remarks, the Minister of Steel Development said, “We are seriously thinking outside the box to see how we can implement the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President. We came to discuss how to restart steel production at Ajaokuta Steel Plant.

” The Hon. Minister of Works has made it clear that the Federal Government is looking to develop over 30,000 kilometres of road, and a large component of that will be from Steel wrought, and a percentage of that will be produced in Ajaokuta. We came to discuss how to implement the process for producing it in Ajaokuta within the shortest possible time.”

According to the minister, this would provide the needed economic boost for the nation, generate revenue, and provide thousands of direct jobs for skilled and non-skilled technicians.

“And we are to achieve 2 or 3 three things: to create job opportunities for Nigerians as a whole, two, to ensure that the corridor around the North Central Zone and the Ajaokuta Warri axis is busy with activities and third, the plant has been inactive for close to four decades and we are here to restart the plant within the shortest possible time,” he added.