FG Resumes Work on 2nd Niger Bridge

The Federal Govern­ment has approved the continuation of work on the Second Niger Bridge, several months after it was suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari in a bid to review the contract award.
The important bridge, which will run across Anambra and Delta States, is estimated to cost over N130 billion through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and complement the first Niger Bridge which serves as a major link between the South East and South West geopolit­ical zones.
President Buhari and his team took the decision to re­vive the project on Wednes­day at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting which he chaired at the State House, Abuja.
After the meeting, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), told newsmen that some jobs, especially piling works, had been done on the project site and that advanced construction by Julius Berger would begin before next year’s rainy season.
The resumption of work on the bridge will go on while the government concludes conces­sion agreements with investors that will fund a major part of the project.
According to Fashola: “The project was conceived first as a PPP, with government financing, but the investors had not brought themselves and negotiations had not been concluded. It is impor­tant to continue to work there.
“Works had been executed there, piling, early works 1 to 3. It is important to continue. Es­sentially, it is preparatory piling work which can only be done during the low tide, especially at this time of the year before the water levels rise. So, the Coun­cil approved that as well as ear­ly Works 4.
“Also approved is the out­line business case for us to con­tinue discussions to see wheth­er we can successfully conclude a full business case and possi­bly a concession agreement that would then enable private capi­tal to come in to concluding the remaining works.”
 Fashola also announced the approval for the repair of Tam­buwawa Bridge between Kaduna and Kano, under the emergency procurement policy.
“The bridge was suffer­ing from scraping and erosion, with its parts exposed as a re­sult of some mining activities there; we got approval for that by Council,” he added.

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