The Federal Government has said that it will commercialise its three major ‘legacy projects’ by introducing tollgates and truck parks.
The Managing Director and the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Uche Orji, disclosed this on Wednesday on Channels Tv ‘Business Morning.’
The three projects are the 127.6-kilometre Lagos Ibadan Expressway, 45 Kilometer Second Niger Bridge and the 375 kilometers Abuja- Kanu Highway were undertaken by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2028.
Orji said, “The road projects. I have talked about the likelihood of the SUKUK fund, but operationalizing these roads, completing the concession agreements for these roads and funding plans for the roads are very important, because I expect them to now start turning it into specific companies.
“These are going to be toll roads I keep emphasizing, and they will be run as business.”
The government had set up the Presidential Infrastructural Development Funds to address the funding needs of the three projects.
The objective of finishing them and making them economically viable anywhere from 2022 into 2023, according to Orji.
The MD said, “Lagos Ibadan Expressway, I know some people are still struggling with that but you can also attest to the fact that a lot of progress has been made. We are over 60 per cent completed, I think 63 per cent on Lagos Ibadan Expressway. I believe we should be able to complete that project by the end of 2022.
“Second Niger Bridge at the end of the year (2020), we are about 53 per cent completed. I am hoping that by the end of this year, we will have completed the decking of the bridge. So, by the end of this year, I am hopeful that we can see a bridge.
“The original scope to the Abuja Kano Road will be done next year, the new scope, the Ministry of works will give an update.
“So, all of these projects are moving at pace. Let me emphasise, these are going to be commercial economic corridors. There will be toll roads, trailer parks, there will be all sorts of things that are going to be added to those roads to make sure that they earn revenue.
He further hinted at the NSIA plan to raise a SUKUK to address some of the funding concerns of the project.
So far, the Second Niger Bridge has gulped N116.7bn as it is projected to cost N414bn.
The Lagos Ibadan Express Way will cost the FG N311bn, while on the Abuja- Kanu Highway, the government will spend N797bn.
In a separate interview on Arise Tv on Tuesday, Orji disclosed a major concern that could delay the three projects.
“I hope we don’t have another setback like we had with Covid-19 last year. That I think will be the biggest challenge… we have made a lot of progress with funding,” the NSIA boss said.