BY ADAKU ADINDU in Abuja•
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja approved N206 billion for the construction of 11.9 kilometre-link road to the second Niger Bridge.
Briefing media practitioners at the end of the weekly FEC meeting in the State House, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the contract was awarded to Julius Berger.
According to him, the project was initiated by the former administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan under the private public partnership (PPP) but collapsed, and now taken over by the federal government.
The minister said whereas the bridge itself is just 1.95 metres in length, the road meant to link the bridge to Onitsha in Anambra State and Asaba in Delta State covers 11.9 kilometres, disclosing that so far, N14 billion had been paid to the contractors.
He also said besides the memorandum on the link bridge that was approved by FEC, the council also re-awarded Oji- Achi- Mmaku- Awgu- Ndeabor road in Enugu State at the cost of N11.558 billion.
According to him, the contract meant to be executed within 24 months was awarded to Setraco following the failure of the earlier contractor to whom the project was awarded to execute the project.
He said: “There were two memos from the Minister of Power, Works and Housing Mr. Babatunde Fashola, which were considered and approved today.
The first is the approval for the re-award of the contract for the rehabilitation of the Oji- Achi- Mmaku- Awgu- Ndeabor road in Enugu State.
The contract was approved today (yesterday) at the sum of N11.558,6976 awarded to Mssr Setraco Nigeria limited.
“Completion period is 24 months. What happened was that the contract was awarded earlier to a company that failed and Setraco that was given other sections of the road performed and had now been awarded the contract while that of the other contractor has been rescinded.
“Also approved today is the contract for the link road and associated infrastructure for the second Niger Bridge. If you remember, this time last week I was in Onitsha and Asaba inspecting the second Niger Bridge.
“Today, FEC has now approved the award of the link road, the bridge itself is just 1.95metres but the link road is 11.9 km and this contract was awarded to Julius Berger for the sum of N206 billion.
“It will include not just the link road but also associated infrastructure and this bridge links Anambra and Delta States.
“Remember that the project was conceived by the last administration under a PPP arrangement which failed and that is why the federal government had to take over this contract.
“So far, about N14 billion had been paid to contractors handling the bridge and the contract that was awarded is for the link and associated infrastructure that will link the bridge,” he stated.
Mohammed also said the council approved three memoranda from the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
One of the memoranda, he said, sought the ratification of the Multi-lateral Competent Authority Agreement on automatic exchange of financial account information.
He said the memorandum would assist the government in curbing the problem of tax evasion and simultaneously improve revenue collection of government.
He also said FEC also approved another memorandum by Adeosun seeking the approval of ratification of the African Fifty Article Association.
He said: “This particular memo is unique in the sense that both the African Fifty Project Finance and African Fifty Project Development Association are actually two windows which have been created by the African Development Bank (ADB) to allow for bankable infrastructural projects to be financed by subsidiaries of the bank.
He added that the council approved another memorandum presented by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, for a revised estimate total cost of the engineering, procurement and construction of the OB3 gas pipeline project at the cost of $92 million and another N765, 968 million.