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75 companies have submitted bids to be picked as concessionaires for 12 federal roads through the online portal of the federal government under the first phase of the Highway Development Management Initiative (HDMI).

Head of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mrs. Abimbola Asein, said in a statement by Director of Press and Public Relations, Boade Akinola, that the HDMI was created by the ministry to attract sustainable investment and funding in the development of road infrastructure and to maximise the use of assets along the right of way.

The 12 roads to be given out to the would-be concessionaires under the first phase of the HDMI are: Benin – Asaba; Abuja – Lokoja; Onitsha – Aba – Owerri; Shagamu –Benin; Abuja -Keffi – Akwanga; Kano – Maiduguri; Kano- Katsina; Lokoja – Benin; Enugu-Port Harcourt; Ilorin-Jebba; Lagos-Abeokuta and Lagos-Badagry.

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Mrs Abimbola said the rationale behind the private sector engagement was to provide alternative funding source for road development and management, adding that the ministry is working jointly with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFB&NP), amongst other stakeholders, to bring the project to fruition.

“The buy-in of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the National Assembly had been obtained and the nation is looking forward to a robust procurement process that will attract capable concessionaires that will develop and manage these routes,” Asein added.

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According to the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Babangida Hussaini, the request for qualification bid opening ceremony signalled the commencement of the value-added concession evaluation exercise.

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He said: “The ministry shall ensure that the procurement process is in line with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) Act and approved public-private partnership guidelines.”
Hussaini stated that every proponent interested at the request for qualification stage and meets the basic prequalification criteria would be shortlisted and subsequently invited for the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage.

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The 12 highways mapped out for concession by the federal government have a combined length of about 1,963km and represents less than 5.6 per cent of Nigeria’s 35,000km federal highway network.

The initial capital investments that the federal government is projecting is about N1.13 trillion, with employment potential estimated to be over 50,000 direct jobs and 200,000 indirect jobs.

During the formal bid opening ceremony, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Minister of Works and Housing,said represented by Hussaini, stated that the event signalled the commencement of the evaluation.

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“The ministry is committed to a transparent, fair and competitive bidding process throughout the HDMI project life cycle. Twelve pilot road corridors have been earmarked for concession and they are considered very viable,” he said.

Fashola stated that the evaluation committee will be chaired by the director (public procurement), who is a seasoned public procurement and public private partnership (PPP) expert.

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He further said that the ministry will ensure that at the end of the procurement process, and in line with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and Public Procurement Acts, the contract shall only be awarded to bidders who, having satisfied the prequalification criteria, submitted the most technically and economically comprehensive bid. .

The Minister of Works and Housing said the buy-in of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the National Assembly had been obtained, adding that the nation is looking forward to a robust procurement process that will usher in the much needed concessionaires that will develop and manage the routes, while recouping their investment.

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