From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
The hope of Nigerians using the Second Niger Bridge in 2017 may be dashed as harsh economic environment has impacted negatively on the completion date indications have emerged .
Managing Director of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr Uche Orji, revealed that early works (EW3) have commenced as part of the preliminary construction activities on project site.
In view of the apparent economic realities, Orji, however, could not admit the shift in completion date, but said: “If there is any reason where there is a delay, I will be the one to tell you. But, at the moment, I will not say that yet. But, we continue to experience delays. For any reason we have not been able to get the constitutional agreement signed on time.
The object is to get it signed on time so that we can get to the financial close as soon as possible. By the second quarter or third quarter of this year, I should be able to tell you. But for the moment we are sticking to the date we have announced,” he said.
Giving the analysis of the expenditure so far made on the project, Orji said NSIA has so far spent $2.2 million on the project while $242 million was spent on due diligence and $1.96 million spent to get the environment work done together with the financial muddling work, legal and contract work, construction contract and concessional agreement.
The Second Niger Bridge and adjacent roads will be 11.9 kilometres in length. The project is structured as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) and will be constructed and operated on a Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis. When completed, the bridge and adjacent roads will have six lanes with three in each direction.