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FG releases N1.5bn for Niger Bridge, says Rep

Posted by By Anayo Okoli on 2005/07/08 | Views: 291 |

FG releases N1.5bn for Niger Bridge, says Rep


The member representing Onitsha Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr. Gozie Agbakoba says the Federal Government has released the sum of N1.5 billion out of N2.5 billion Naira needed for the rehabilitation of the collapsing Niger Bridge in Onitsha.

Onitsha — The member representing Onitsha Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr. Gozie Agbakoba says the Federal Government has released the sum of N1.5 billion out of N2.5 billion Naira needed for the rehabilitation of the collapsing Niger Bridge in Onitsha. And for future effective mangement of the bridge, Agbakoba also said a bill for Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) system for the planned second Niger Bridge has gone through its first reading in the National Assembly.

According to Agbakoba, the release of the fund indicates the importance the Federal Government attached to the rehabilitation of the bridge, which has sufferd long neglect and on the verge of collapse as it currently vibrates.

Agbakoba who is in Onitsha to inspect the level of work on the Federal projects in his constituency said that the rehabilitation work is a short term measure just as efforts are being made to ensure that the construction of the second Niger Bridge takes off next year.

The lawmaker disclosed that the construction firm handling the rehabilitation of the bridge has already commenced preliminary work, and urged the bridge to prepare their mind for some inconveniences as the bridge would be closed for some days to allow the construction firm, Setraco Nigeria Limited, do the necessary rehabilitation work.

He said he is sponsoring a (BOT) bill which has gone through the first reading, noting that the bill is aimed at empowering the private sectors to construct and manage the second Nigeria bridge.

The legislator said his three months stay in the National Assembly has been to familiarize with the members and procedure of activities in the House, just as he is reaching out to his colleague from South- East and other parts of the country to lobby intensively for the bill to be passed this year.

“This bill, when passed will allow us invite the private sector, maybe, consortium of banks to build the bridge, operate through collection of toll gate for about 25 years before they can transfer to the Government”, Agbakoba said.
According to him, “the private sector initiative has become imperative because of the huge fund needed for building the bridge”.

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