Facts you need to know about the Abuja-Lagos Superhighway

Facts you need to know about the Abuja-Lagos Superhighway

Monday, September 25, 2023 3:43 pm


Chief Kenny Martins and Engineer Dave Umahi

*Road to be built by a private consortium, Advance Engineering Company

* It is a build, operate, and transfer deal

* It’ll be tolled at different points to enable the investors to recoup their investment.

*It’s be a concrete road

When Dave Umahi, an engineer and Works Minister said the proposed Abuja-Lagos Greenfield Superhighway would reduce the journey between the two cities from 14 to 4 hours, thirty minutes at 100 kilometres per hour, not a few Nigerians said he should tell that to the marines! The man was (and still is) quite sure of himself.

He dashed to Lagos and spoke with journalists last weekend, saying the 470-kilometre big artery would be completed in four years, and it would last 100 years. Where would the funds come from? He responded that the road would be built by a private sector consortium, Advance Engineering Company, at no cost to the government “for a yet-to-be-determined period on a build, operate, and transfer deal and it would be tolled at different points to enable the investors to recoup their investment.”

In his words: “When I first introduced this to the public, many doubting Thomases were saying ‘it is impossible, Lagos-Abuja that is done in 14 hours cannot be done in four and half-hours’, that is the renewed hope of Mr. President,” he said.

Umahi added: “The president has approved that I fast-track this project. This project is going to be two lanes but each lane is going to be a two-carriage way and it is going to be 14 metres.

“The only carriageway that is equivalent to this is the Third Mainland Bridge where each carriageway is 14 metres. It is going to be built on 275-millimeter-thick concrete.

“The live-shelf design of this project is going to be 100 years. It is going to be completed within four years and this is doable. Some bridges will be built. Many tolling points are going to be there.

“We are not putting any kobo but we will assist them in every direction.”

He explained that from Lagos, the road would pass through eight states in the South-west and North-central before it gets to Abuja. The states are Kogi, Ekiti, Oyo, FCT, Lagos, Ogun, Niger and Kwara.

He praised the private consortium, Advance Engineering Company, which is behind the deal, saying he was “very satisfied with their concept and what they have put in place.”

Umahi added: “So, the next thing is to bring the business proposal so we can negotiate on what the cost of the project is going to be. Then they go to the Ministry of Finance and negotiate on the issue of their money.

“The good thing is that we are building this road on concrete so we can predict the cost. In asphalt, you cannot predict the cost. The cost of asphalt roads changes every month.

“Concrete roads are more durable and cheaper than asphalt and I have directed all ongoing projects that have not advanced up to 80 per cent to change the remaining to concrete.”

The minister added that plans were underway to make the road a business and industrial corridor with hotels, factories, and housing estates, among others, on the route.

Emphasising the seriousness of the project, Umahi said the contract would be watertight such that if the consortium backed out unreasonably, it may have to pay a fine of $10 million.

Chairman of the consortium, Kenny Martins, described the project as “the first of its kind in Africa”, saying it would be ICT-compliant with a fibre optic connection, solar-powered street lights and security points on the entire stretch of the road.

Martins said in Lagos, the route would begin from the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge in Epe to Abuja.

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