Reps: Dangote Alone Can’t Fix Nigerian Roads
The challenges of road infrastructure in Nigeria cannot be fixed by the Dangote Group alone, members of the House of Representatives have said.
Speaking during a working visit of the House Committee on Federal Road Safety Commission to the Dangote Cement Plant Obajana on Thursday, the chairman of the committee, Hon Akinfolarin Mayowa Samuel, said there must be a collaborative effort between government and the private sector in the management of Nigerian roads.
The Chairman who bemoaned the traffic gridlock at Kabba Junction in Kogi State, urged the company to up its interventional scheme by easing traffic jam, adding that the Lokoja-Kabba road was sensitive and central to the road network in the country.
“Permit me to say thank you for what Dangote is doing. The problem of Nigeria cannot be solved by one person. I must say the country is lucky to have a company like Dangote. Let me add also that we are critical stakeholders. That is why we are here to complement your effort,” he said.
He urged the company to support the government in the areas of road expansion, and dualization, saying the government was grateful for all the interventions in the country.
In his response, Dangote Cement’s National Director of Logistic Mr. Carlos Juan Rincon said the company will not rest on its oars in the areas of infrastructural development of the country.
According to him, even though it is the responsibility of the government to provide road infrastructure, the company will continue to lend a helping hand, as exemplified by the construction of Nigeria’s longest concrete road in Kogi State.
Mr. Rincon said the Lokoja-Road is being overstretched because other roads linking the North and the south are grossly in a state of disrepair.
Spokesman of the Federal Road Safety Commission Bisi Kazeem commended the Dangote Group for making the visit of the lawmakers a success.
“For the fact that the committee has visited, and there is a partnership between government and private sector, shows Nigeria is working. I think we should give kudos to the Dangote Group,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, the Bajana of Obajana Land, Oba Idowu Senibi described Dangote as God’s chosen for his numerous interventions, adding that he can however do more to support the government in road construction and rehabilitation.
He suggested the construction of a bypass and crossover road to support the Dangote Cement trailer, and further help the flow of traffic.
In the same vein, the Olu Apata Dr. Frederick D.O. Balogun expressed appreciation and pledged his community’s continuing support for the company.
He however said his community has also embarked on community service to support the government and the company.
Efforts by the Executive Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello to boost tourism in the state has received a major fillip with the decision of a major financial group to bank-roll the project.
The decision of the foreign investor to invest in Shagunu Beach Resort was the outcome of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello’s foreign investment drives in recent times. Shagunu Beach Resort, located in Borgu local government area of Niger state has been a major investment centre believed to be on the priority list of the current administration in the state.
Disclosing this in a statement mid-week, Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mrs Chidawa Rifkatu Adamu said ‘’it is the desire of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello led administration in the state to make Shagunu Beach Resort one of the country’s top tourism sites and a destination of first choice .’’
‘’Governor Sani Bello has been committed and consistent in driving growth and developments in Niger state, and one of his focal points is how to make Shagunu Beach Resort come alive as one of Nigeria’s top tourism sites’’, Mrs Adamu revealed.
Speaking in a similar vein, Lead Consultant Chief Executive Officer of Marcom Support Services Ltd, Mr. Hakeem Adewale Akintunde said it gladdens the heart that Shagunu Beach Resort has gotten the attention of global financial player, noting that for over three years now, the state government has embarked on aggressive infrastructural development of communities in the area.
He revealed that empirical evidence of the master-plan of Shagunu Beach Resort shows that Shagunu will be promoted as a rising riverside resort destination of choice in the Sahara. He stated that the project which is conceived as a Public-Private Partnership on Build, Operate and Own Model is aimed at putting Niger state on the global tourism map while boosting the internally generated revenue of the state.
‘’It is our mandate to market and project this God-given resort to the outside world and investors with the hope of making the Beach the first of its kind in Nigeria and South of the Sahara, Akintunde revealed.
The beach, situated in the widest part of the River Niger occupies a 1000 hectares of land as the river spans 34km across River Niger.
Shagunu is a rich natural environment that projects excellent opportunities to attract further economic development. As a riverside, it portends limitless prospects for positive growth associated with tourism industry development. It links up with Timbuktu in Mali, newly built Baro Ports in Niger State as well as connecting to the Niger Delta Region through the waterways.
Other side attractions and landmarks of Shagunu Beach are: Kainji National Park, the Largest National Park of Nigeria which contains Kainji Lake, the Borgu Game Reserve and the Zugurma Game Reserve. The state government has been committed to aggressive infrastructural development of the state with special focus and attention on road construction and massive electrification of communities in Borgu local government and other parts of the state.
Niger State is a multi-culturally rich state that is agriculturally well endowed. It is a state with diverse ethnic groups, peace-loving, accommodating and industrious.