As Nigeria’s longest rigid pavement road project inches closer to completion, motorists travelling from Northern part to the South have said the road has started supporting vehicular movements across the regions. The Obajana – Kabba road in Kogi State is said to be the longest concrete road project in Nigeria. It is one of the country’s roads linking the North and the South.
A notable businessman from the North, Mr. Ibrahim Dantsoho, 40, as well as other motorists commended the president of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, and described the project as a big relief, saying it had already eased travelling and connectivity across the regions.
Managing Director of AG-Dangote Construction Company Mr. Ashif Juma said the project would be completed as planned and that Nigerians would yearn for more of such roads when they see the difference with bituminous roads. Mr. Juma said so far 33km earthwork and 22km concrete pavement had been accomplished, noting that every care was being taken to ensure that Nigeria had a most durable road in Nigeria. He assured: “We will deliver the project by December this year. All hands are on deck” He urged ‘’Nigerian governments at all levels to switch over to construction of concrete roads instead of asphalt as it is far superior, durable and cheaper, and does not require frequent maintenance.’’ A human rights activist and consultant, Mr. Abdullahi Umar, 55, who travels through Okene in Kogi State said he now use the Obajana-Kabba road.
He called on other companies to emulate the Dangote Group. A statement from the Corporate Communications Department of the Dangote Group said: “Concrete road last longer than asphalt roads and do not have potholes. It does not require frequent maintenance as asphalt roads. It saves fuel for motorists and protects tyres from wear and tear.
‘’It is part of the Group’s determination to support government and Nigerians to grow the economy and facilitate ease of doing business.’’ It added that the Obajana-Kabba rigid pavement road project is part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) of the Dangote Group Plc.
Worried by the huge sum of money used in road repairs, President of the Dangote Group Aliko Dangote had said plans were afoot to revolutionize Nigerian roads with concrete, stressing that resources used in road repairs and maintenance would be channeled to other more important needs of the nation.
“We are going to be building concrete roads in the country so that anytime we build a road, we do not have to go back to repair after the third raining season, but move on and use the resources to address other pressing needs of Nigeria,” Mr. Dangote said. It would be recalled that as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS), the Dangote Group had earlier commissioned the 26 km Itori-Ibese Concrete Road. At the commissioning, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, had noted that the stride by the Dangote Group demonstrated the unwavering commitments of an indigenous investor towards the industrialization of Nigeria.