Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), Unilever Plc, Dangote Group and three other companies have keyed into the Federal Government’s drive to build infrastructure across Nigeria.
The companies, which also include Unilever Nigeria Plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, and China Road and Bridge Corporation Nigeria Limited, will build 19 roads; a total of 794.4 kilometres in 11 states across each of the six geopolitical zones of the country.
This is made possible with the signing of executive order 007 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari to allow private companies construct and refurbish roads across the country. Following the order, the two-year-old Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council (Industrial Council) has chalked a landmark achievement in accelerating infrastructure development for economic growth.
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, who listed the roads at the signing ceremony, said the scheme was the outcome of efforts to think outside the box and deploy new techniques to develop critical road infrastructure in the country.
In his speech at the signing ceremony, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President and CEO of Dangote Group, stated: “The impact is huge because it will allow private sector to use their capital, their know-how and also their efficiency in terms of delivering roads in time and the Nigerian government will be saving billions of naira.”
The Federal Executive Council approved the Industrial Council in March 2017 as a vehicle for partnering with the private sector on the industrialisation agenda to address key hindrances to the growth of manufacturing in the country. The council, chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, aims to increase the contribution of the manufacturing sector to gross domestic product and establish Nigeria as the manufacturing hub for Africa by implementing initiatives aimed at accelerating industrialization by leveraging private sector expertise and capital.
Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, who is one of the vice-chairmen of the council, explained that, “the Council’s mandate is to assist the Government in implementing initiatives that will enhance the performance of the industrial sector through partnerships with the private sector.”
The leadership of the Industrial Council consists of the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (Chairman); Enelamah (Vice-Chairman, Public Sector); Aliko Dangote (Vice-Chairman Private Sector); Aisha Abubakar, Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, (Alternate Vice-Chairman, Public Sector); and Atedo Peterside (Alternate Vice-Chairman, Private Sector).
Other infrastructure initiatives which the Industrial Council is facilitating their implementation include the on-going deployment of 18,000 KM of fibre across the country to improve broadband penetration; and the generation of additional 4.2GW of power to the national grid.