The federal executive council (FEC) has approved N15 billion for the construction of an access road that would link the Benin-Asaba highway to the second Niger Bridge.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed announced the approval on Wednesday when speaking to State House correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
Mohammed said the completion of the road would help achieve the dream of inaugurating the bridge before Buhari leaves office on May 29.
“The Minister of Works (and Housing) presented a memo seeking approval for the award of contract for the construction of an access road from the existing Benin-Asaba expressway to approach the link road to the second Niger bridge in Delta,” he said.
As you are aware, the government is determined to inaugurate the second Niger bridge before the expiration of this administration.
”We can tell you that the bridge itself is substantially concluded, but the contract that was awarded today, although the work has started before now, is actually to connect the Asaba-Benin end to the new bridge.
“The contract was awarded to Julius Berger at a sum of N15 billion. They have started the work but they said it is only proper that they have a contract.
”We can assure you that the road will be finished in good time for us to inaugurate the 2nd Niger bridge.”
The minister also said the council has approved N16 billion as a variation for the dualisation of Suleja-Minna road in Niger state.
On his part, Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, said the council approved €3.7 million as a contract variation for the Transmisson Company of Nigeria (TCN).
Aliyu said the amount was meant for the procurement of some equipment and to complete the construction of two sub-stations that would help boost the electricity supply in the country.
“Today, I presented a memo on behalf of the Transition Company of Nigeria to the Council and it approved the variation,” he said.
”This was due to the escalation of prices for the supply of equipment and the construction of 132 33KV substations at Nnewi and 132 KV line bay extension at Onitsha, both in Anambra.
“The approved amount for the variation is 3.7 million euros plus N1.137 billion inclusive of 7.5 percent value-added tax, with a completion period of 18 months.”
Aliyu said the contracts started in 2006 but were abandoned due to a lack of budgetary provisions.
On his part, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, who also spoke with journalists, said the council approved six medium-term development plans for Nigeria, which would run from 2021-2050.
Agba said the plans were designed to create a stable and predictable macroeconomic environment.