The Federal Government is set to grant licence to members of the private sector to build, maintain and operate federal highways across the country.
This was made known in a document released by Boade Akinola, Director of Press and Publicity of the Ministry of Works and Housing.
According to the ministry, the arrangement is under the new highway development and management initiative (HDMI).
The ministry said the concession process will be classified into two categories — value-added concession and unbundled assets approvals.
For the value-added concession, the road pavement and entire right-of-way will be on concession for development and management by the concessionaire; while for the unbundled assets approvals initiative, “approvals/permits are issued for individual assets on the right-of-way on a build, operate and or maintain basis”.
This will lead to the “development of revenue-generating assets along the highways”, which basically means the re-introduction of tollgates for concessionaires to recoup investments.
It added that the initiative would also create over 200,000 jobs.
The document read: ”Both approaches aim to provide adequate highway services through the development of revenue-generating assets along the Highway. This is key to maintaining the functionality of the highway as well as engaging and generating wealth for indigenous small and medium enterprises.
“The main objective of the initiative is to attract expertise and sustainable investment/funding in the development of road infrastructure and to maximise the use of assets along the Right of Way and develop other highway infrastructure.
“It’s not really about revenue, it’s about the expected injection into the economy. The estimated private sector investment required for the development and maintenance of the 12 routes is N1.34 trillion and the impact such investment will have on the economy cannot be overstated.
“A minimum 50,000 direct jobs and over 200,000 indirect jobs are envisaged to be created spanning construction works, installations, steel fabrication, security, hospitality, vehicle repairs, waste management and administrative work as the value chain along the highway economy is activated.”