Niger Govt signs MoU with Consultancy firm,BENIJ, to tackle Roads Infrastructure deficit

The Niger State Government expressed its readiness to implement various road projects in the State in line with the road infrastructural development initiative of the present administration.

This followed the signing of a contract agreement between Niger State Government with a private consultancy firm, BENIJ Nigeria Limited to provide consultancy services to the State Government for the construction of 556km of roads across the twenty five Local Government Areas of the State,
A statement issued by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Abubakar Usman disclosed that the measure is aimed at addressing the infrastructural deficit and as well boost economic growth within the State.
According to the SSG, “the State struggles with an infrastructural deficit exceeding over 70%, with its road network standing at the core of this challenge, For Niger State to achieve sustainable economic growth, developing a good road network is key to achieving the goal”
Alhaji Usman further revealed that the roads construction will promote agriculture, trade, industry, and commerce among the populace and help the State to achieve higher economic growth.
He added that the establishment of efficient road infrastructure will also create a costeffective and secure movement of goods, bolstering both the safety and well-being of road users.
To this end, the following initiatives have been formulated,a total of 24 identified roads, spanning a collective distance of 556KM, consisting of 100km Minna township road, 50km each in Bida Suleja and Kontagora towns, 5km in each of the 17 Local Government areas, Rofia (Agwara) – Borgu 90km, Rijau – Kontagora 90km and dualization of Kakaki to Minna 41km, the statement stressed.
The SSG hinted that invitation for tender for the construction works was published by the Ministry of Works and Infrastructural Development on the 7th of August, 2023, which will be on a performance-based contract and expected to be funded by a consortium of banks. The loans are to be defrayed through the increased Internal Generation Revenue (IGR), improved Federal allocation owing to the removal of fuel subsidies and major roads that can be tolled.
The SSG explained that the consultant appointed for project design, management and supervision of these projects is Messrs Benij Nigeria Ltd, with an extensive track record of more than 36 years in road construction, adding that most recently, the consultants spearheaded the completed 700MW Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project, which had a road component of 26
kilometres of asphaltic paved access road from Minna – Zungeru Road to
the Dam site.
The designated consultants have been tasked with bolstering the capacity and knowledge sharing of over 100 engineers within the Ministry of Works and Infrastructural Development, along with ad hoc personnel. This measure is aimed to establish a strong foundation of project support and ensure the project’s delivery to the best international standard, the statement pointed out.
The consultancy engagement would span a period of 24 months, commencing on the 9th of August 2023, with the aim of achieving its objective within the prescribed timeframe, stressing that designs and procurement processes are also in the concluding stage to award the Bida Ring Road project spanning about 41km. Enviplan International Ltd is the appointed consultant finalising the necessary designs, surveys and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of the Bida Ring Road for remedial work to commence soon, the statement noted
Alhaji Usman further stated that compensation verification and disbursement exercise has been going on for the past two weeks for the eagerly anticipated 82km Minna-Bida Road funded by the State Government, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. Specifically, the stretch from Kataregi to Bida, comprising lots 2 and 3 of the project.
He asserted that the exercise is to be concluded on the 5th of September, giving way for the groundbreaking scheduled to commence by November, 2023 and project completion by December 2025.

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