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Local content: Dangote, others seek policy framework on concrete pavements

By The Citizen
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To attract investments in the construction sector, aid local content and improve capacity utilization in the cement-manufacturing sector, major cement producers have tasked the Federal Government on the need to formulate policies to encourage concrete pavements design.

According to the manufacturers, concrete remains the most cost-effective road material on the basis of both initial and life-cycle costs when compared to asphalt, adding that many investors are shying away from investing in major equipment to drive the adoption.

The cement manufacturers, mainly Lafarge Africa Plc and Dangote Cement Plc, noted that adopting new solutions for road constructions can save the nation at least over $1 billion yearly on failed road projects.

The Road Project Manager, UNICEM, Calabar, Aibangbee Mark, during an assessment tour of a 20-kilometre evacuation road explained that road construction in the country should be driven by truck analysis, road usage as well as sustainability profile.

Mark noted that many construction companies are not favourably disposed to concrete pavements due to the low demand for such considering the amount of funds investment on machinery for such infrastructure.

He added that with cement becoming readily available as production capacities of manufacturers increase; adopting concrete pavements remain a viable alternative depending on the road design.

Speaking at the commissioning of a 26-kilometre Itori-Ibese concrete road constructed by Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) in Ogun State, President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote noted that one of the major infrastructural challenges that Nigeria faces today is lack of good quality roads, as most of the nation's highways are in a very deplorable condition due to lack of proper maintenance.

Making a case for use concrete in road construction, Aliko said: 'The Nigerian cement industry as our contribution to finding a cost-effective and lasting solution to this problem, has been advocating the construction of concrete roads as a more viable alternative to asphalt roads.