At a time several states government are on the neck of the Federal Government for repayment of funds used by states to reconstruct federal roads in their domain, the same government and Julius Berger Plc on Wednesday signed a N120bn agreement for the construction of the Bonny Road in Bayelsa State.
According to the deal, whereas the apex government will provide N60bn for the project, the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) will provide the balance.
Explaining more during the signing ceremony, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said “Essentially, we formally sign the agreement today. It concluded the procurement process for starting the constructing process of the Bonny Bridge”.
“This is important for many reasons. First, it complied with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, which the President launched to revive the economy, and one of the pillars of that plan is infrastructure provision. Therefore the NLNG has decided to add funds on equal basis to the project to the value of N120.6bn, and they will be taking 50 per cent of the cost of delivering the project, while government takes 50 per cent of the cost.
“This is a major statement in partnership with the private sector to deliver public infrastructure. We gather here to improve the quality of lives in the Niger Delta by spending more in developing infrastructure. We assure the residents that immediately work starts; we will start to see improvements in the various value chains.”
Managing Director of NLNG, Mr. Tony Attah, said the project would open the Niger Delta to new frontiers of development and attract investors to the state and entire South East.
However, the minister was silent on chances of delivering the intractable East-West Road which has drained well over N150 billion since the Olusegun Obasanjo administration to date.