Buhari to probe 2nd Niger Bridge contract

2nd Niger Bridge

Diko, who spoke to State House correspondents after making presentations to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, stated that the Ministry of Works has been asked to review the contract cost of the project.

He also said the Commission has also identified some errors in the project.

He said: “The second Niger Bridge is one of the projects that we discussed with the President. We did say yes it is in the commission for regulatory oversight. We have been discussing the transaction with the ministry of works.

But before it can be finalized, the commission has to give a certificate of compliance, but we haven’t given that because we have seen a lot of issues that we are uncomfortable with.

“We are talking with the ministry of works for them to correct it. The communities around that area are clamouring that their lands have been taken and that they have not been compensated adequately.

“As a matter of fact we got a letter from Onitsha traditional council complaining that they have not been adequately represented in this transaction. These kind of issues, we are not saying that something has not been done properly but we need to be convinced that these few problems are sorted out properly.

“We will also talk about the actual cost of the bridge, eventually we have asked the ministry of works to review it and justify how much the project should cost.”

However, since the emergence of President Buhari, there have been growing fears, especially from prominent Igbo leaders and built environment experts that the Federal Government has dumped the construction of the project.
The bridge which was flagged off on March 10, 2014 by former President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to be completed in 48 months (March 2018).

Measuring about 1,590 metres long the bridge whose construction cost was put at N117, 860, 700, 741.82, VAT inclusive, forms part of the 11.90 kilometer length project.

Although, officials of both the Federal Ministry of Works and Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, have severally denied reports that work on the project has been discontinued, Vanguard had earlier gathered that only skeletal works are ongoing as most of the workers have allegedly been retrenched by the contractors.

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