Abuja — The federal government has declared opened an e-portal to mark the actual commencement of the procurement process for the concession of 12 federal highways being used as a pilot project under its already launched Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI).
Minister of Works and Housing Minister, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), stated that the e-portal was launched in order to ensure competitiveness and guarantee transparency as it would serve as the interface with the public in the management of the HDMI from Procurement to Implementation.
Fashola, who disclosed that the portal will be opened from next week Monday, said, “Let me repeat that all our transactions will be done through this portal and we will not entertain any personal inquiries through me or to any of our staff who have correspondingly been mandated not to entertain such requests.
“The day is now upon us, the venue is fixed and I have the pleasure to announce that the HDMI portal , https://hdmi.worksandhousing.gov.ng/, will open on Monday the 29th March, 2021”, calling on those who have written for enquires to make use of it.
Continuing, he explained that the portal would be open for all HDMI related functions and most importantly, the Request for Qualification (RFQ) application for the Value Added Concession (VAC) which would be officially advertised on the same day.
He said the process was expected to be a vibrant process and a successful one that would unleash the commercial opportunities on Nigerian highways from paved roads, to clean and well-maintained highways, proper signage and route assurance signs, rest houses and commuter support for emergencies like vehicle towing and repairs.
Currently, the government is executing over 700 different contracts which aggregates to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of over 13,000 km of roads and bridges across all the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory.
He said as a result of the size of the undertaking, there is an increasing and unsatisfied demand for funding to finance these projects to completion and to maintain them, and that is the reason for the public Private Partnership (PPP) project.
Delivering his welcome address earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr.Babangida Hussaini, stated that the Ministerial notice on the commencement of the Highways Development and Management Initiative (HDMI) signaled the commencement of the procurement process for the concession of the twelve pilot broad corridors under HDMI.
Explaining the objectives, the Permanent Secretary stated that the initiative would leverage private sector investment to improve facilities and operations on the selected routes, maximise the revenue generating potential of the routes and ensure international best practices in the development and management of the nation’s highways.
He said: “This pilot project is expected to attract a lot of investment to the country, create jobs for our teeming youths and make travelling on our highways more desirable.”
In his opening statement, the Ag. director-general, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr. Micheal Ohiani said that ICRC as a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) regulatory commission would ensure a level playing ground for all interested players, calling on all interested investor both local and foreign to participate in the bidding processes as it would be fair to all bidders.