By our reporter/ The second Niger bridge will be completed in 2022, Uche Orji, managing director of NSIA, said on Thursday.
Orji made the disclosure at the weekly ministerial briefing organised by the presidential media team.
The construction of the bridge which commenced on September 1, 2018 across the Niger river, will span from Asaba (Delta state) to Ozubulu and Ogbaru areas in Anambra state and will serve as a major link between the south-east and the south-west region in the country.
Orji who described the project as one of the legacies of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government, said the bridge will come into light as a result of the presidential infrastructure development fund (PIDF) established to ensure the realisation of such projects.
According to him, other projects under the scheme include Lagos-Ibadan and the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano expressways.
Orji said, “In terms of the footprints of our investment through the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), these are the President’s legacy projects and we are just there as mangers of those projects.”
“The PIDF was set up in 2018 with an objective of attacking certain areas where we have been stuck as a country. There were some projects that have been on the drawing board for 40 or 50 years, no movement. So, the President decided to isolate them form the current process and create a new funding mechanism to make those projects move faster.
“Second Niger bridge for example, has been on the drawing board since 1976 and there was no movement on that project until the PIDF was effectively set up; Lagos-Ibadan expressway faced a similar type of circumstances; Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road, these are project that have been stuck, Mambila hydro power project is also there, everybody knows that we need to re-do them to make sure that we drive economic activity a bit more effectively.
“So PIDF was set up as a mechanism that creates a vehicle that takes government contribution, NSIA’s contribution and opens the door for investors to come in as a way to make sure we finish these roads on time and the progress has been quite impressive.”
Orji said all projects carried out by the NSIA are the president’s legacy projects with many of them set for inauguration next year.
He disclosed that N206.2 billion was budgeted for the Second Niger bridge with N132.7 billion released so far.
For the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Orji said N311.4 billion was earmarked for the 127 kilometers road with N90.8 billion released.
He said the project would be completed in July 2022.
According to him, N111.1 billion has been released for works on the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano expressway, a project which is expected to gulp N155.72 billion.