UBA Plans N400bn Road Fund


February 22, 2008


As part of moves to jumpstart the rehabilitation and maintenance of Nigerian roads, United Bank for Africa Plc; Africa’s global bank, is spearheading the establishment of a Road Fund to be financed up to the tune of N500bn. This was disclosed by the Executive Director, Investment Banking and Asset Management, UBA Plc, Mr. Chika Mordi at the just concluded International Conference on Road Safety in Africa, organized by the Federal Road Safety Corps in Abuja.


Mr. Mordi who represented the UBA Managing Director, Mr. Tony Elumelu at the conference said “the idea of the fund is to take away some of the burden from government by bringing private sector funding in to maintaining and rehabilitating our roads”. According to him, the Road Fund is yet to receive the backing of government as “it is still more of a concept or an idea. As soon as the government approves and funds the proposal will determine how soon the project will take off… We are thinking of starting with N5bn but as it progresses, it can grow to as much as N400bn”.


Emphasizing on the catalytic effects of good roads, Mr. Mordi posited that as the African continent moved closer to integration through telecommunications and finance, improved road linkages has a critical role to play in the process. The bad state of the roads in Nigeria he said had taken toll not only on human lives but also commerce and the movement of goods across the country. The cumulative effect of this and the poor road network has contributed in raising the cost of trade thereby putting the country at a disadvantageous position in the area of businesses competitiveness he noted.


Still on the deplorable condition of Nigerian roads, the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr. Osita Chidoka, stated that several lives were being lost to road accidents with an attendant cost implication on the country. He was however quick to add that there has been a drop in the number of road accidents from 25,000 in 1992 to about 13,000 in 2004 as a result of improvements in road infrastructure and the activities of members of the FRSC on the highways.

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