Official: Second Niger Bridge ready in 2022

Second Niger Bridge: completion time set at 2022

Second Niger Bridge: completion time set at 2022

Second Niger Bridge: completion time set at 2022
Second Niger Bridge: completion time set at 2022

By Chijioke Okoronkwo

The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), has expressed optimism that the Second Niger Bridge and the Lagos—Ibadan Expressway will be completed by 2022.

Uche Orji, NSIA’s Managing Director, featured at the weekly State House media briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Orji said that the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), managed by NSIA, was set up in 2018 with the objective of addressing projects that were stuck.

He said the Second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano, Lagos-Ibadan Expressways, Mambilla Hydro-power project were part of projects that were stuck before PIDF was set up.

“Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road, again, these are projects that have been stuck, everybody knows we need to do them to make sure that we drive economic activities more effectively.

“Mambilla is another project that has been stuck for a very long time.

“PIDF was set up as a mechanism that takes government contribution, NSIA contribution, and opens the door for investors to come in as a way to make sure that we finish these projects on time and the progress has been quite impressive in the last three years of the PIDF being set up.

“A lot of money has gone into these roads, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is split into two sections; there is Lagos to Sagamu; which is being handled by Julius Berger and Sagamu to Ibadan which is being handled by RCC.

“Then the 2nd Niger Bridge which cuts across Asaba to Onitsha, Delta and Anambra States, there are three phases to it.’’

Orji said that the phases were 2A, 2B and phase 1.

According to him, phase 1 is what is being handled at present– 10.9 kilomteres of bridge plus approach road.

“Then there are 2A and 2B, these are further access roads stretching back into the Benin-Asaba Expressway as well as all the way connecting the Owerri interchange and going toward Obosi.

“Phase 1 is where we are focusing on at the moment, it is 62 per cent completed, we are to start Phases 2A and 2B, but the bridge can be operational once we finish just 2A.

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“Phase 1 is the first project given to NSIA to handle, the expected completion date is 2022, and I think from what I have seen, I can confidently say that it will be completed by 2022;

“Lagos–Ibadan Expressway, the same objective, 2022 is when we expect it to be completed.’’

He said that the Abuja-Kano, had an initial target of 2021 completion but the scope of the project had been changed in terms of reconstructing the entire road.

According to him, the Kaduna-Zaria-Kano end will be done on target while the Abuja-Kaduna road will witness significant funding by August.

He said that the NSIA was owned by the federation as the ownership of the NSIA was split into three.

“The Federal Government owns 45.8 per cent of the NSIA, state governments own 36.2 per cent, local governments own 17.8 and the FCT owns .16 per cent.

“The NSIA has overtime received contributions—initially one billion dollars and nothing for quite some time until when President Muhammadu Buhari started to make extra contributions.

“NSIA has received all together 1.6 billion dollars from the government and has earned returns that have put NSIA assets at 2.3 billion dollars.

“So, over time, it is coming up to almost 700 million dollars in returns from its core investments.

“But in addition to all of these, NSIA also now manages the PIDF to which there have been significant contributions totaling 650 million dollars initially, 265 million dollars later on and more recently, the Abacha funds have been recovered 311 million dollars have also been transferred to the NSIA.’’

He said that the PIDF at the moment had a capital of about 1.7 billion dollars dedicated to projects—Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, 2nd Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano road and the Mambilla Hydro-power project.

Orji said that the East-West road was originally on that list but subsequently, an arrangement was made where it has taken out PIDF and returned it to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

“So, the PIDF projects are now down to four projects, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, 2nd Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano road and Mambilla Hydro-power,’’ he said.

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