After many years of hardship and pains experienced by Apapa Road users, the FG has finally announced the plan for reconstruction of the Road and handover the Road to the Sponsors of the project after the official signing of the MoU.
The Project worth N4.34bn is jointly sponsored by Dangote, Flour Mills companies and Federal Government. A section of the Apapa Wharf will be shut down for one-year to enable its construction. The two kilometres road construction between the Nigerian Port Authority and end of the bridge is expected to take one-year starting from Saturday.
At the signing the Minister of Works, Housing and Power, Mr Raji Fashola explained that the use of AG Dangote for the construction was to give the road a better outlook with the use of concrete. According to the minister, the construction is to resolve the challenges usually encountered on the road. While commending the sponsors of the project, the minister appealed to road users and stakeholders to persevere.
He said, “We are embarking on what will be the final solution to the massive inconvenience. Businesses and residents in Apapa and its environment have had to endure for a couple of years.
“I like to acknowledge the leadership role of Dangote and Flour Mills who are operators and have also contributed to make this reality. They are doing this as a total Corporate Responsibility without asking for tax holiday or reduction. We are also working on how to ensure free access to Tin Can Island.
“From today that we are handing over the project, the road will take one year to be completed. We need the cooperation of all the stakeholders. There will be some discomfort on the way but we appeal for tolerance and perseverance. It will continue to get better, people should please ensure more to solve the challenge.”
Engr Joseph Makoju from Dangote, said it was co-sponsoring the project to provide an enabling environment for businesses in the area. He said, “This is part of our CSR. Businesses have to engage the community where they operate. Today’s CSR has gone to a higher level where we find ourselves embarking on a major infrastructural project,” he added.
The Managing Director of Flour Mills, Paul Gbededo, urged the Federal Government to place priority on repairing other sections of Apapa. He also sought the cooperation of other stakeholders and road users during the construction period.
He said, “Apapa has become a very difficult place to work. With this project that the Federal Government has allowed to embark on, it will give succour to business. It has the biggest port in Nigeria and should not be taken with levity.”
It will be recalled that the Apapa Road has been subject of years of complains by residence and businesses who use the road. The Road connects the nation’s major seaport in Apapa and the ever-busy Murtala Muhammed International Airport, is crucial to the country’s economy. However due to traffic gridlock and deplorabe conditions, it has led to loss of productive time and avoidable accidents.