75 Companies Bid For 12 Federal Highways’ Concession

The federal government Tuesday officially opened the bids for 12 major roads in line with the Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI), under a concession agreement, pledging to be fair and transparent during the exercise.

The roads, which are up for public/private partnership, include Benin-Asaba, Abuja-Lokoja, Kaduna-Kano, Onitsha-Owerri-Aba, Shagamu-Benin, Abuja-Keffi-Akwanga, Lokoja-Benin, Enugu-Port Harcourt, Ilorin-Jebba, Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta, Lagos-Badagry and Kano-Shuari-Portiskum-Damaturu rroad

According to the government, the initiative was created to develop and manage the federal road network through a sustainable private sector investment to maximise the use of assets along the Right of Way (RoW).

In addition, the HDMI is aimed at creating alternative source of financing road development and management of the roads, while unlocking the economic potential of the project routes with attendant job creation opportunities.

The 12 highways mapped out for concession by the federal government have a combined length of about 1,963km and represents less than 5.6 per cent of Nigeria’s 35,000km federal highway network.

Furthermore, the initial capital investments that the federal government is projecting is about N1.13 trillion, with employment potential estimated to be over 50,000 direct jobs and 200,000 indirect jobs.

Speaking during the formal bid opening ceremony, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Hussein Babangida, stated that the event signalled the commencement of the evaluation exercise.

“The ministry is committed to a transparent, fair and competitive bidding process throughout the HDMI project life cycle. Twelve pilot road corridors have been earmarked for concession and they are considered very viable,” he said.

He noted that the evaluation committee will be chaired by the director (public procurement), who he said is a seasoned public procurement and public private partnership (PPP) expert.

He stressed that the ministry will ensure that at the end of the whole procurement processes and in line with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and public procurement Acts, the contract shall only be awarded to bidders who, having satisfied the prequalification criteria, submitted the most technically and economically comprehensive bid. .

Fashola noted that the buy-in of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the National Assembly had been obtained, adding that the nation is looking forward to a robust procurement process that will usher in the much needed concessionaires that will develop and manage the routes, while recouping their investment.

The Head of PPP unit in the ministry, Abimbola Asein, while speaking, stated that the event reconfirms the commitment of the ministry to drive the project procurement process to a logical conclusion and select credible and capable concessionaires

“I wish to use this opportunity to reassure our proponents that the process of the bid evaluation will not only be transparent, but credible as all proponents that meet the extant criteria would be prequalified,” the ministry’s top official said.

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