The National Council on Works (NCW) has approved the implementation of the Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI), as a source of financing the development of roads in the country.

This is contained in a 17-point communique read by Alhaji Abdulkadir Ibrahim, Bauchi State Commissioner for Works and Transport, at the end of the council’s 27th meeting on Thursday in Bauchi.

Ibrahim stated that the council advised the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to adopt or modify the initiative in order to have a better financing of their road development projects.

He said the council also approved policies that would encourage private sector involvement in the development of road infrastructure, to meet the increasing transportation demand.

He added that to function effectively, state and federal agencies should improve on the maintenance of their infrastructure through adequate funding and capacity building.

According to Ibrahim, the council approved the creation of maintenance service and supply chain networks, suitably structured and designed to positively impact and grow “maintenance economy“.

He said the council approved that stakeholders’ meeting be convened by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing for a holistic review of all professional consultancy fees relating to preliminary engineering design of highway projects.

The commissioner said the NCW also resolved to take note of the tolling policy recently passed by the Federal Executive Council and modify it to suit local needs.

He said the council also resolved that states and the Federal Government should protect road assets by enforcing axle load compliance through the use of weighbridges.

The construction of warehouses to store excess cargoes will also be encouraged under the new initiative.

The council approved that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing should develop a protocol for the sharing of road data.

The council resolved that it would continue to innovate in the use of materials for road construction, such as concrete and other locally available materials.

Ibrahim said the council also approved the construction of a Rest Point Facility (RPF) parking complex at strategic locations on major highways in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 27th NCW meeting was chaired by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola. (NAN)