Abuja (WorldStage Newsonline-- The Federal Government of Nigeria on Wednesday approved the contract for the transactional advisory services for Design, Build, Finance and Operate of the proposed Second Niger Bridge.
The contract in the sum of N325 million with 16 months completion period was awarded to Messrs Roughton International Limited Onolememen.
The government also approved the contract for the transactional advisory services for design, build, and finance and operate on Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road, Lagos to the same contractor in the sum of N297 million.
The Second Niger Bridge project which will be under the Public-Private Partnership arrangement when completed will serve as a link between the South-South and South East.
The contract was announced by Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The meeting also saw the return of minister of foreign affairs II, Prof. (Mrs) Viola Onwuliri who lost her husband in the ill fated June 3rd Dana plane crash in Lagos.
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly FEC meeting, the minister said it was the expectation of government that the ground breaking of the bridge would be done by the third quarter of 2013.
The minister said the project was approved because government was concerned about the challenges posed to road users on the route and was desirous of taking immediate action to construct the bridge that would provide a smooth movement of traffic that would link the South West and South East.
He said, “The Federal Government, in furtherance of its transformation agenda of addressing infrastructural deficit and improving the quality of public infrastructural services, has recognised leveraging on private sector investment and capacity to complement the drive towards bridging the country’s enormous infrastructure gap through the PPP initiative.
“In view of this, the second Niger Bridge which is a critical national infrastructure and forms an essential link between the South West and South East connecting the two large cities of Onitsha and Asaba, was tabled for consideration for transactional advisory services for design, build, finance and operate under the Public Private Partnership Scheme.”
On Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road, the minister said the contract which has a lifespan of 12 months was inclusive of all taxes; adding that the ground breaking on the road would be done in the first quarter of next year.
He explained that the contract was awarded based on the government’s concern about the deplorable condition of the 2.8km dual carriage way connecting Apakun-MMIA Road and its desire of taking immediate action to upgrade the road to a modern eight-lane facility that would provide smooth movement of traffic.
He said since the road was an important gateway to Nigeria and Lagos, adequate attention was given to the design and beautification of the road.
Onolememen also said the FEC approved additional works on the subsisting contract of the dualisation of Kano-Maiduguri Road, Section II.
The additional works involve the extension of the road from Dutse to Kwanar Huguma, a distance of 24.2km.
The contract, according to the minister, was awarded in favour Setraco (Nigeria) Limited in the sum of N8.352bn thereby revising the contract sum from N35.841bn to N44.193bn.
The project has a lifespan of 40 months.
Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga also briefed the council on the commendation attracted by the nation’s economy during a recent event in London.
Also, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Edem Duke, apprised council on the acceptance of the government during President Goodluck Jonathan’s recent visit to Tinidad and Tobago as well as Jamaica.