The Dangote Group owned by Africa’s wealthiest man, Aliko Dangote, has completed a rigid pavement road in Nigeria, which engineers describe as the first-of-its-kind in the country.
In a nation widely known to lack good roads and maintenance culture, Dangote is on a mission to overhaul the deficiently constructed Nigerian roads – and he has delivered on the first project his company took on about six months ago – the 43KM Obajana-Kabba road – a strategic highway for travelers between the Northern and Southern Nigeria.
The new concrete road is located in Kogi, a state situated in the central region of Nigeria. The project is Dangote Group’s social responsibility effort in a community where its Cement plant is located. Dangote Cement is the single largest cement plant in the world.
According to a statement released by the company, Nigerian roads are susceptible to potholes and quick wear and tear because they are built with asphalt.
“Concrete road last longer than asphalt roads and do not have potholes. It does not require frequent maintenance as asphalt roads. It saves fuel for motorists and protects tyres from wear and tears,” the statement said.
Since the completion of the road, the community leaders, traders and commercial drivers have continued to pour encomium on Dangote for the project which they say has boosted business activities and and enabled them to earn more than they ever did.
The traditional ruler of Obajana Land, Idowu Senibi, while praising the billionaire vowed to protect his investment in the community and described the new project as a “gigantic concrete road”.
“Dangote is our son. We would protect his huge investment and gigantic concrete road. I am happy that this is happening in my lifetime and in my Kingdom,” the royal leader was quoted in the statement. “This is a great opportunity for us and many generations to come. Our society will be opened as you can see vehicles and commercial activities have started coming up. May God Almighty bless Dangote and all his staff”.
Affirming his resolve to support the Nigerian government in building better and more durable roads, Dangote said the funds government sinks into frequent road repairs and maintenance would be channeled into other important national projects if the roads are built with concrete.
“We are going to be building concrete roads in the country so that anytime we build a road, we do not have to go back to repair after the third raining season, but move on and use the resources to address other pressing needs of Nigeria,” Dangote was quoted as saying.
The Dangote group is projecting that the new concrete road would last as long as 40 years if well maintained, as against asphalt type of roads which are easily damaged, moreso with Nigeria’s high level of seasonal rainfall. It is believed the concrete road construction method would set a precedent for road construction in Nigeria.
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