2nd Niger Bridge to gulp N117 billion, says Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan Monday, performed the ground-breaking ceremony for the 2nd Niger Bridge in Onitsha, Anambra State estimated to cost N117 billion.
Speaking at the occasion, he said that the project to be handled by Messrs Julius Berger-NSIA Consortium has been programmed in compliance with the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission Act, and the Public Procurement Act.
According to him, no stone has been left unturned to ensure its success considering the several unsuccessful attempts by past administrations.
He said: “The Federal Government is executing this project under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement for a concession period of 25 years, precisely, through a ‘Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT)’ model.”
“We are confident in the capacity and competence of the Concessionaire, Messrs Julius Berger-NSIA Consortium, to deliver on this project, at the construction cost of about N117 Billion Naira.”
To ensure timely delivery of the project, he said that the Federal Government has made a commitment to contribute 25 per cent of the construction cost, in the sum of N30 Billion.
Recalling that the project was part of his electoral campaigns promises in 2011, he commended outgoing Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, and Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan and all the people and host communities for their patience, understanding, support and cooperation in the realisation of the commencement of the project.
He said further: “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, as we commemorate our centenary of nationhood, it is my firm belief that this bridge will deepen national integration and also enhance economic and social interaction among other parts of our country and the South-East.”
“As part of our administration’s Transformation Agenda in the road sector, we have set out to construct two very important new bridges, across our Nation’s two great rivers – the River Niger and River Benue. These are the Loko-Oweto Bridge linking Nassarawa and Benue States, which is progressing satisfactorily, and this 2nd Niger Bridge, connecting Anambra and Delta States.”
“The 2nd Niger Bridge, whose foundation we are laying today, represents a strategic national infrastructure, with great socio-economic prospects for the contiguous States, and indeed, for the entire Nation. It is an important economic artery that will connect the great markets of Onitsha and Aba, as well as the industrial hub of Nnewi and beyond, to both the Northern and Southern parts of our country.”
“On completion, this bridge, which is being constructed almost 50 years after the existing bridge opened to traffic, will alleviate the pains experienced by travellers as a result of congestion of the old bridge, particularly during festive periods. It will massively improve road transportation in the South-East of Nigeria, and also reduce travel times substantially, in this part of the country.”
On the national conference, said: “Next week, in Abuja, I shall be inaugurating the National Conference, and it seems appropriate that this bridge, and the Conference, two major emblems of National cohesion, are being inaugurated within the same period. I would like to assure you all that every effort will be made to ensure that this 2nd Niger Bridge is delivered.”
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