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Meet our speakers: Emeka Agbasi, FERMA, Nigeria



We speak with Dr Emeka Agbasi of FERMA to find out how his department is working to maintain and develop road infrastructure in Nigeria.

What has been the most significant development in Nigerian over the last 18 months with regards to the development of PPPs?

The Federal Government of Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020) emphasises investment in infrastructure, especially in power, roads, rail, ports and broadband networks. It builds on ongoing projects and identifies new ones to be implemented through 2020 improving the national infrastructure backbone. Given the huge capital layout required to address the massive infrastructure deficit in the country, the private sector is expected to play a key role in providing critical infrastructure, either directly or in collaboration with the Government under public private partnership (PPP) arrangements.

Some recent PPP transactions include:

  • The Federal Government recently signed concession contracts for 20 out of the 33 grain silos in the country. The 20 silo complexes have a capacity to manage 1.3 metric-ton of grains and would earn about 6 billion Naira for the Government in a 10-year period.

  • A contract has been signed with an investor for development of 614 Km, 40 inch gas pipeline project from Ajaokuta to Kano on a build and transfer PPP model.

  • Approval has been given to build storage medical facilities, and solar availability PPP contracts.

  • Significant progress has been made to procure reputable investors for the realisation of Ibom Deep Sea Port project (concluded evaluation process), and for the establishment of a military clothing factory at DICON, Kaduna.

  • The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) deployed the first ever PPP contracts information disclosure web portal on 22nd September 2017 in Abuja. One of the key objectives of the portal is to entrench accountability, integrity and transparency in PPP transactions in Nigeria.

  • ICRC collaborated with the World Bank to introduce the first APMG PPP certification (Foundation) programme in Nigeria which recorded a high pass rate.

Why is Nigeria a good option if you are a developer or financier of road infrastructure?

  • More than 80% of socio-economic activities are over the road network which provides passenger and freight links to all other modes of transportation. Fast tracking road development is a significant national issue particularly in meeting the increasing demand of road users, both in terms of capacity and reliability, and drive socio-economic development of our country. To put this into context, development is used here as a generic term relating to both building new roads and preserving existing roads assets. The demand for additional capacity (that is, number of lane kilometres) is driven by growth in traffic volumes, population size, and economic activities as the leading economy in Africa. Thus, both capacity expansion and increased maintenance are needed to improve the state of the road sector. The 30 years National Integrated Infrastructure Masterplan (NIIMP) identifies the road projects for prospective developers or financiers.

  • Presidential Executive Orders policy thrust is focused on improving the business environment and give an additional push to the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

“…help to deliver efficiency gains and cost savings and minimise communication gaps.”

You work for the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) – what do you see as the biggest challenge you have to face?

Our biggest challenge is balancing the maintenance needs of the road network and available resources to deliver optimal level of serviceability. In addition, balancing the demand for asset preservation in relation to network improvement and expansion during the budgeting process. I think a rational approach is to maximise the capacity and utility of the existing road network first before strategically investing in expansion or adding new capacity. The latter should take cognisance of the need and increased focus on inter-modality to improve the efficiency of the transport sector in terms of convenience, travel time and cost.

You have worked on multiple sides of the road infrastructure sector – government, liaison to multilateral agencies, engineer – how do you see the disconnect between all these various element of the ecosystem working together, given that you understand many of their perspectives?

Early involvement of all road project parties and working in partnership (both client and suppliers) in a road project help to deliver efficiency gains and cost savings and minimise communication gaps. Absence of integrated project planning and staggered involvement of the different project parties limits value for money benefits and disconnects in the road project delivery cycle are often evident. The importance of integrated project planning and supply chain management cannot be over emphasised.

Emeka Agbasi will be one of the lineup of key industry experts who will be sharing their insights and experience with the attendees at the annual West African Road Infrastructure and Investment Forum 2020.


#WARIIF2020

The West Africa Road Infrastructure and Investment Forum 2020 (#WARIIF20) is set to be the most prominent road infrastructure event in West Africa. It will bring together the key financiers, investors, multilateral investment institutions, government ministries, regulators, public and private sector stakeholders to discuss how road development, investment and technology fit together and how to successfully fund and execute infrastructure projects on time and within budget.​


The forum will analyse new public-private partnership (PPP) regulation and policy in Nigeria, new infrastructure projects that promote regional integration and competitiveness of countries, new technologies and financing challenges in the road and highway industry across West Africa.

Two days, 30+ senior key opinion leaders from the full spectrum of players in the value chain, panel discussion and case study presentations. What more could you want?

To register for the West African Road Infrastructure and Investment Forum, click here