From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC), yesterday, approved that the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing proceed with the work on the Second Niger Bridge.
The project had been estimated to be about N130 billion out of which the immediate past administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan said it disbursed N10 billion as at January 2015.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who briefed along aside ministers of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun at the end of the meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari, said the bridge was initially conceived as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
“The bridge is meant to give relief to the existing Niger Bridge and improve connectivity between the West and the East.
“The project was conceived first as a PPP with government’s financing but negotiations had not been concluded and it is important to continue to work there.”
He said the work could only be done during the low tide, especially at this time of the year before the water levels rise.
The minister also approved the outline business case for government officials to continue discussions and see whether they could successfully conclude a full business case and possibly a concession agreement.
The Minister of Finance explained why two agencies of government, the Federal Road Safety Corps and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were yet to receive their November salaries.
She said the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) automatically shuts down any Ministry, Department or Agency that has overdrawn its budgetary allocation or is overstaffed.
She said they have asked for virement from National Assembly for those affected so that they could pay their staff to enable them enjoy the Yuletide season.