- FG Approves N33 Billion for Second Niger Bridge
The Federal Government has approved N33 billion for the construction of the second Niger bridge.
Mr Uche Orji, the Managing Director of Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, disclosed the information while inspecting the project.
Orji, who visited the site with the Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe, was optimistic that the project would be completed without any further delay.
The project estimated to gulp around N220 billion was awarded in 2014 by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, however, no implementation was done.
Orji said funding for the project would be raised from the private sector by 2020 through bond and equity.
He explained that a Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund to be managed by the NSIA had been set up for five critical road and power projects across the country.
According to him, the $650 million PIDF will catalyse funding of the second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, East-West road, Abuja-Kano road, and Mambilla Hydroelectric Power.
He said, “The Second Niger Bridge project was conceived to provide an alternative crossing between Asaba and Onitsha within reasonable distance from the current bridge.
“It is expected to spur an increase in investments, agriculture and trade particularly with the Onitsha Main Market in the region, due to the improved and quicker access.
“There are three phases of the Second Niger Bridge. The first one is the 11.9 kilometre bridge connecting Asaba and Onitsha. The entire work is a 44km project.
“The mobilisation for the project was released in August. We are confident that the funding is more stable now and we are looking at a completion date of 2022. It’s a big project.”