Why second Niger Bridge is delayed – ICRC

Niger-Bridge-2_1-700x336The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has given reasons the construction of the Second Niger Bridge cannot go ahead in its current format.

It said it was currently withholding its Certificate of Compliance for the project because of several issues relating to its execution which the commission was not comfortable with.

Some of such issues, it said border on its directive to the Ministry of Works to review the cost of the project to justify it and the clamour for compensation by owners of the land where the project is sited.

The commission’s Director-General, Mr. Aminu Diko, told State House Correspondents after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on its activities in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, that it was already engaging the Ministry of Works on how to resolve the issues.

He said, “The issue of the second Niger Bridge is one of the projects that we discussed with the President.

“We did say that the project is in the commission for regulatory oversight and we have been discussing the transaction with the Ministry of Works.

“But before it can be finalised, the commission has to give a Certificate of Compliance, and we have not done that because we have seen a lot of issues that we are uncomfortable with.

“We are talking with the Ministry of Works for it to correct them. 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.

“With this 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 talked 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.”

Diko said he had no idea of the present state of the project after its groundbreaking was done with fanfare by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He said while the private sector would be allowed to invest in the country and recoup their investments, the ICRC would be there to guide Ministries, Departments and Agencies on how to structure the transactions.

“We also discussed all the projects that were started under the ICRC Act, one of which is the second Niger Bridge, the National Theatre Complex, Lagos.

“These are important projects to the country in addition to the proposal to build three deep sea ports for Nigeria with combined estimated cost of about $6 billion, which will create enormous opportunities for jobs. – The Sun

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