Due to the perennial traffic congestion along the Apapa axis, the President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has explained how his two companies located within the Apapa Port lost over N25 billion between 2017 and 2018.
Dangote made this disclosure at the weekend during the inspection of the ongoing reconstruction of Apapa-Oshodi-Toll Gate with the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
According to him, we also operate inside the port. If you look at our income between 2017 and 2018, we lost over N25 billion because of congestion. We are able to produce but we are not able to come out of the port because of congestion of the port resulting from the gridlock in the Apapa axis.
Commenting on the project, Dangote noted, “Well, you have seen the quality of the road, and as the Minister has said, it will bring a lot of activities back to Apapa when it is completed. You must have seen a lot of containers and trucks all over the place because of the deplorable condition of the road which made a lot of businesses to relocate out of Apapa.
“But with the completion of the road, businesses will return to Apapa. This road will actually open the economy, it will bring a lot of jobs and factories that have moved out to come back, and their businesses will prosper better than before.
Assuring that the road will be completed before the end of 2020, he said “We are grateful to the President for approving this road for reconstruction. That is why we are working day and night to be able to meet the delivery period on schedule and of high quality and I can assure you that this will be one of the best roads not only in Nigeria, but Africa”, Dangote stated.
On his part, Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola who led the inspection said, President Muhammadu Buhari has said that there will be an enduring solution to the problem that has characterised the port road.
“We appeal to commuters who are going through some hardship now because of the ongoing reconstruction work that we mean well. We will do a proper and enduring job because the president’s mandate is that this job must be an enduring solution.
“We expect that by the end of 2020, the entire road network will be finished, we will have a road that will last for forty years or more, and by that time of course, we expect that part of the rail from Lagos to Ibadan should start some operation, and this will make our roads to begin to last to their actual design life. Commenting further, he said Apapa, Tin Can, Mile 2, Oshodi and Oworonshoki expressway when last year, Federal Executive Council approved that there was need to fund this road through the strategic partnership with the Dangote Group using the tax credit initiative, some people expressed concern.
“But here we are. The solution is working, it is a form of PPP, and we have gone from section 1, from the port entrance right to Beachland Estate, and we have seen the work that is going on there. We have passed section 2 which is not part of the contract, but what you will see there now is that because it was made of the bituminous type of pavement, it is beginning also to show signs of wear.
“This is because of the heavy axle loads that characterise the usage there, and of course you saw a lot of deposition of waste and refuse which inhibit free flow of water which then gather slowly to begin to damage the road from under”, he said.