For Nigeria to achieve its long desired infrastructural development, it must embrace the use of concrete for road construction and other construction works.
The call was made by Engr Mansur Ahmed, Executive Director, Stakeholders Relations and Corporate Communications, Dangote Group at the 21st Nigeria Economic Summit Group, NESG, held at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Nigeria.
According to Ahmed, who represented the group President, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, use of cement for road construction is a choice that Nigeria must make.
He said concrete roads make more economic sense for a country like Nigeria, as the use of asphalt has left the roads in deplorable conditions.
He said asphalting is no longer in vogue in developed countries as the construction of concrete road is faster and can last for half a century compared to asphalt.
Ahmed explained that concrete roads are 20 per cent cheaper to build adding that cement raw materials are readily available while asphalt is imported into the country.
His suggestion was based on the theme of the Summit: “Tough Choices: Achieving Competitiveness, Inclusive Growth and Sustainability.”
Ahmed also moderated the discussion session comprising the Governors of Kaduna, Katsina, Gombe, Bauchi, Benue and Kogi where he urged them to collaborate in the provision of infrastructure for their people.
Recently in Lagos, Alhaji Dangote also pleaded with the Federal Government to urgently consider the use of concrete roads in the country.
Concrete roads, according to him, will be to the benefit of Nigerians. Aside from being very cheap, he said concrete roads are more durable and that its maintenance cost is near zero.
“We are pushing for Nigeria to do a concrete road. It is cheaper to do a concrete road that will last 50 years than to do a bitumen road. It will also help in eliminating corruption because if you go and build a bitumen road, it will have to be adequately maintained unlike a concrete road that is very durable,” Dangote said.
Currently in 15 African countries, excluding Kenya, Niger and Mali, which are new projects, the company’s current total capacity stands at 48mmtpa, out of which Nigeria alone has the largest chunk of 29.3mmtpa.