The Executive Director, Stakeholders Relations and Corporation Communications, Dangote Group, Mr. Mansur Ahmed, has said for Nigeria to achieve its long-desired infrastructural development, it must embrace the use of concrete for road construction and other construction works.
Speaking at the ongoing 21st Summit of the Nigeri Economic Summit Group (NESG) at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, Ahmed said this was a choice that Nigeria must make.
His comment is against the backdrop of the theme of the summit: "Tough Choices: Achieving Competitiveness, Inclusive Growth and Sustainability." Ahmed also moderated the discussion session comprising of the governors of Kaduna, Katsina, Gombe, Bauchi, Benue and Kogi where he urged them to collaborate and provide infrastructure for their people.
He said concrete roads make more economic sense for a country like Nigeria, as the use of Asphalt has left the roads in a deplorable condition.
He said Asphalt is no longer in vogue in developed climes, stressing that the construction of concrete road is faster and can last for half a century compared to Asphalt, adding that concrete roads are 20 per cent cheaper to build.
According to him, in the construction of concrete roads, the cement raw materials are readily available while Asphalt is imported into the country.
It would be recalled that the Chairman of Dangote Cement, Aliko Dangote, recently in Lagos 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 affordable, he said concrete roads were more durable and that its maintenance cost is near zero.
According to him, "We are pushing for Nigeria to do concrete roads. It is cheaper to do a concrete road that will last 50 years than to do a asphalt and bitumen roads. 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."
Currently in 15 African countries, the company's current capacity stands at 48mmtpa, out of which Nigeria alone has the largest chunk of 29.3mmtpa.