Dangote Group has completed Nigeria’s longest rigid pavement road in Kogi State. The 43km Obajana-Kabba road constructed by Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), is the first of its kind, according to top engineers.
The road has been described by motorists as the country’s most strategic highway that is aiding travellers between the North and South.
Olatunbosun Kalejaiye, the Project Director, said he was excited that the Corporate Social Responsibility Project is being delivered for use by Nigerians, adding that while the rigid pavement has been completed, the company was dressing the shoulders.
Site Engine, Samuel Obosi assured that the dual carriage way will be durable and less susceptible to potholes and repairs like asphalt road, adding that it would crash the rate of road accident in the country. Motorists said it is now one of the busiest roads linking the two regions in the country.
“Thank God it is a concrete road. It can withstand any heavy duty vehicle,” Alhaji Lamidi Sikiru, a driver expressed optimism. John Moses, a member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, said his taxi business is booming compared to when the road was very deplorable with potholes and barely used by motorists.
A community leader of Apa Bunu Kingdom and spokesperson for the community, Sam Omosayi commended the Dangote Group, saying that the road has attracted a lot of businesses to the area. The Bajana of Obajana land, King Idowu Senibi, described the project as gigantic and the first of its kind anywhere in Nigeria. “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. 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,” he said. Speaking in the same vein, the traditional head of Akpata land, Frederick Durojaiye Balogun said his people were very proud of Aliko Dangote, adding that the Dangote Cement’s Obajana plant, which is the single largest cement plant in the world, has brought honour and respect to their Kingdoms. “His presence has brought a total turnaround in our lives. Also permit me to appreciate the Federal Government for this joint effort. We are very grateful,” he said.
Speaking, the King of Okebunku land in Kabba Bunu Local Government, Timothy Omonile, commended the President of the Dangote Group and charged other philanthropists to emulate him, adding that that is the only way Nigeria can develop its economy and infrastructure. He said the construction of the road has helped cut down the rate of criminality in the state, while describing the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote as God sent.
Rachel Olatunji, a businesswoman said she makes more money now and that business is booming because of the road. Another businesswoman,
Veronica Samuel prayed fervently for the Dangote Group, adding that the new road has changed her life, and enabled her to sponsor her children to school.
Worried by the huge sum of money used in road repairs, President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote had said plans were afoot to revolutionise Nigerian roads with concrete, stressing that resources used in road repairs and maintenance would be channeled to other more important needs of the nation. “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 had said. It would be recalled that as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS), the Dangote Group had earlier commissioned the 26 km Itori-Ibese concrete road.
At the commissioning, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had noted that the stride by the Dangote Group demonstrated the unwavering commitments of an indigenous investor towards the industrialisation of Nigeria.
A statement from the Corporate Communications Department of the Dangote Group, said: “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 it is part of the Group’s determination to support government and Nigerians in order to grow the economy and facilitate ease of doing business.