A total of 75 companies have officially submitted bids to become concessionaires for 12 federal roads under the first phase of the Highway Development Management Initiative (HDMI). This was disclosed at the opening of the Request for Qualification (RFQ) bid by Mrs. Abimbola Asein, Head, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Unit of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
The HDMI was designed by the Federal Government under the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to develop and maintain federal roads through private sector investments.
Asein said, "It is a two-stage procurement process, we have the RFQ; that is this phase now that we are opening the bid for. And then we have the Request For Procurement (RFP); the people that have been pre-qualified will now be open to bidding for the 12 road corridors that have been identified.
"75 companies have been successful for pre-qualified so we are going to go through the documents that were submitted by those people. Then if they are successful, they go on to the next stage which is the RFP stage."
Companies that have submitted bids include China Road and Bridge Corporation Nigeria Limited, Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company (Nigeria) Limited, EK Holdings Limited, amongst others.
Ministry officials are speculating on the return of toll gates on roads because concessionaires would have to recover their investments.
The 12 federal highways currently available for concession are Benin-Asaba, Abuja-Lokoja, Kaduna-Kano, Shagamu-Benin, Onitsha-Owerri-Aba, Abuja-Keffi-Akwanga, and Lokoja- Benin.
Others are Kano-Shuari-Potiskum-Damaturu, Enugu-Port Harcourt, Ilorin-Jebba, Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta, and Lagos- Badagry roads.
The combination of the 12 highways represents about 1,963km and approximately 5.5 percent of Nigeria's 35,000km federal highway network.