… plans new road, rail line to link Benin River Port to Okpella
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, is exploring a number of options to speed up the completion of Benin-Auchi Road, which has been in a state of disrepair for years.
One of the options being considered is a proposal to take over the management and maintenance of the Benin-Auchi Road under the Federal Government’s Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI) being promoted by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
Under the HDMI, major highways across the country are being concessioned to investors who are expected to make investment to the tune of N1.134 trillion and “improve efficiency, accountability, and profitable entrepreneurship to the operation, management, and maintenance of all assets within the Right of Way on the highways.”
Speaking on the government’s plan to expand the Benin/Auchi Road, during an enlarged meeting of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members across wards and local government areas in Edo North Senatorial District, Obaseki added: “The Federal Government came up with a scheme last week to allow for concessioning of major roads.
“We have put together a package and will be applying under that scheme for the concession of that road so that we can expand it. I am sure that when we are done, it will be one of the most viable road networks in the country.”
“The scheme has been designed in such a way that it will allow for private investment on such roads. We are designing a new road from the Benin River Port to Okpella. Hopefully, one day in our development plan, we would be able to put a rail link there,” he added.
Obaseki further noted that, “When you try to get a flight to Edo State now, it becomes difficult because a lot of people are trying to utilize the business friendly environment created by this administration.”