The Minister for Works, Architect Mike Onolememen
The Minister for Works, Architect Mike Onolememen has disclosed that the building of the Second Niger Bridge over Onitsha, Anambra State will cost the Federal Government N100billion. Onolemenen said this yesterday when he featured in the Pilot Newspaper Leadership Forum in Abuja when answering questions on the activities of his ministry in making Nigerian roads better and safer.
He noted that the project was one of the top priority infrastructure President Goodluck Jonathan selected for handling due to its prime importance to the nation and its economy. He said the Second Niger Bridge was one of the projects the government earmarked for completion from the fund that would accrue to the government from the removal of the fuel subsidy.
He, however, assured that notwithstanding, the fact that the government had intended to raise fund from the subsidy earning, it would not relent in the resolve to handle the project because the arrangement had been concluded before now. “Although the subsidy earning is not as much as had been targeted, the government will not stop implementing the project due to its prime importance,” he assured.
The project, according to him was to be completed in three years and the payment also spread out through the period. In each of the three years, the Federal Government, which provides 30 percent of the counterpart fund would disburse N10billion to the project and make up the N30billion obligation in the three years the project would last. Onolememen also explained that the remainder 70 percent funding or N70billion would be sourced by a foreign concessionaire company that is the partner funding outfit.
He assured that the project at the level of signing of contracts and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) had reached a stage that it won’t be dropped any longer. “It is one of those projects Mr. President has accepted to designate special funding for, which is an outcome of the petrol subsidy removal and will also ensure there is no funding shortfall in the handling of the project.
“Mr. President also approved six major roads, especially those ones that would link the six geo-political zones as priority projects that must be handled with dispatch within the next two years. The target is to have a roadmap on the upgrade of Nigerian roads under the supervision of the federal government in a way that after the government must have gone, future governments would have a blueprint on roads.
Very soon, President Jonathan will launch the Public Works Project on Nigerian roads that will facilitate the proper and constant rehabilitation of roads nationwide. The project will involve the procurement and use of road maintenance equipment that will need local hands to be trained in handling them. From such training as planned by the federal government, thousands of youths will be engaged as workers. It is one of the several means through which the government will soon generate employment for the youths of the nation.”