Under the new Highway Construction and Management Program, anchored by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, the federal government has authorized private individuals, businesses, and others to construct, maintain and move assets on some federal highways.
The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has already issued the Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance for the start of the procurement process for the HDMI concession of 12 federal highways.
The FMWH was approved to begin the 12 pilot federal highways concession process, meaning the return of toll gates as concessionaires would have to recover their investments.
The certificate was handed over by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission at the FMWH headquarters in Abuja to the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
The FMWH claimed that there were two categories, Value Added Concession and Unbundled Assets Permits, in a new document on how the HDMI partnership will be implemented.
In the Value-Added Concession initiative, the ministry claimed that the concession for development and management by the concessionaire will be the road pavement and the entire right-of-way.
“For the Unbundled Assets Approvals initiative, approvals/permits are issued for individual assets on the right-of-way on a build, operate and or maintain basis,” the ministry stated.
This means that, in order to improve commercial activities on the roads, individuals will now be permitted to develop and maintain properties on commercially viable federal highways.
The FMWH claimed that by establishing revenue-generating assets along the highways, the goal of both methods was to provide adequate highway services.
“This is key to maintaining the functionality of the highway as well as engaging and generating wealth for indigenous small and medium enterprises,” it stated.
It further explained that the HDMI was expected to be anchored on private sector engagement via the concession of economically viable routes to technically and financially capable private companies.
This, it said, would be through the management and development of the right-of-way.
On how individuals and groups could participate in the scheme, the government said it was determined to ensure that its assets were entrusted into capable hands.
The ministry advised interested persons, companies, and groups to form consortiums of construction/road maintenance companies, financiers, toll operators, rest house operators, advertising companies, lane marking experts, refuse managers, among others.