The President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has lauded the decision of the Federal Government to reconstruct the failed Apapa Wharf Road as its grim state serves as both an embarrassment to the country and a huge loss of close to N140bn on a weekly basis.
Dangote, who spoke to journalists on Tuesday, said, “The economy loses more than N20bn daily. It (bad state of the roads) affects businesses across the country. All our operations in the hinterland in Ilorin, in Kano are operating at 40 per cent maximum capacity.”
Lamenting the state of roads in the country, Dangote said, “Today, there is no linkage road going from the South-West to the North. You have to go all the way through Ajaokuta, Obajana, Lokoja and you have to go by that uncompleted road that Obasanjo started 13 years ago.
Commenting on his resolve to personally get involved in the Apapa Wharf Road reconstruction, he said, “Because it is very embarrassing! We can’t just sit and have a road like that, which it is the heart of trade in the country. More than 60 per cent of our country’s imports and exports come through the Apapa Port and we leave the road unattended to.
“That is why we started on our own. Flour Mills said they will join us, but now the government has changed the design because they want all the cables and pipes underground and to have a more robust solution.”
To help in bringing the cost down, he explained that he forced his company to execute the project at a zero profit.
“Both Dangote and Flour Mills are pumping in over N2.5bn for the two-kilometre double lane on each side, making a total of four kilometres,” Dangote explained, adding that the biggest job “is drainage because that is what is destroying the road. We will make sure this problem is sorted out once and for all.”