• Monday, June 17, 2024
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BusinessDay

FG to review cost of 2nd Niger bridge, others, as inflation bites harder – Fashola

Controversy trails Fashola’s comment over Tinubu’s dual citizenship, others

The Federal government on Thursday, announced that it has put in place mechanisms to review the cost of ongoing major legacy projects of the Buhari administration, including 2nd Niger bridge, Lagos- Ibadan expressway and the Abuja- Kaduna- Kano projects.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made this disclosure Thursday during the Special Weekly briefing coordinated by the Presidential Communications Team at the State House Abuja.

The briefing was to enable him to provide further updates on key collaborations between the Federal Government and the State Governments in the implementation of some of the major reforms being executed by the Ministry and the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF).

The projects which are being executed with the Presidential Infrastructure Development Funds, has seen their costs rising, as inflation bites harder, with cost of major consumables, including diesel, petrol, bitumen, hitting the roof top

BusinessDay gathered that the cost of the projects were calculated on the basis of N162 per liter for the Premium Motor Spirit PMS, as against the current average cost of N250 per liter, while diesel cost was initially based at N350 per liter, as against the current N750 per liter.

Fashola revealed that the three major PIDF projects have gulped over N1.3 trillion.

“ The 375 kilometers Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway, was originally projected to gulp N797 billion, Second Niger Bridge, 11.59km, at N206 billion, while the 127 kilometers Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, will gulp N310 billion”

The 11.59km 2nd Niger bridge was estimated to cost N206,151,693,014.87, while N160,903,087,618.17 has been paid for the job now at 91.23% completion.

The bridge is estimated to consume 761.85 tonnes of bitumen and 784,356.00 liters of diesel, when completed.

The 375.4km Abuja- Kaduna – Kano road estimated at the cost N797,236,523,738.86 has so far gulped N296,036,382,520.90 and is at 22.41% completion. The project will consume 13,874,274.47 liters of diesel and 61,534.04 tonnes of bitumen.

The Minister revealed that the 43.60km Lagos to Shagamu end of the Lagos to Ibadan road, is estimated to gulp N134,861,795,702.80 with N83,689,337,929.04 paid so far for the 57.35% completed portion, while the project will consume 34,481,301.71 liters of diesel and 28,704.65 tonnes of bitumen

On the other hand, the 84km Shagamu to Ibadan end of the road estimated to cost N176,503,909,310.19 has so far cost government the sum of N123,809,286,067.35, for the 69.46% completed session, while the project will consume 45,124,092.00 liters of diesel as well as 53,940.38 tonnes of bitumen.

On when the projects will be completed, Fashola said that Lagos Ibadan Express Way and Second Niger Bridge are on course to be completed this year 2022, while the main Carriageway of Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano expressway is scheduled for completion by Q2 2023, adding that ancillary works will be completed later.
Meanwhile, the minister has warned motorists to shelve the temptation to exceed 100km/h on completed roads, to avoid crashes.

He said the warning became necessary when he got messages from some of the road users commending the quality of work done, who said they were doing 150-100km/h due to the smoothness of the roads.
He also decried the sale of Premium Motor Spirit and other petroleum products on the roads, saying they deteriorate the roads faster.

BusinessDay gathered that already both Ministers of Finance , Budget and National Planning met on the sidelines, after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council FEC, where they agreed on review of the budgetary allocations, as well as a possible Supplementary Budget, to deal with the rising inflation.
He disclosed that although government had included contingencies in anticipation of the changes in prices of the consumables, “ something will be done, as the energy crisis has become impactful in terms petroleum products and bye products”

“ It is also translating down the value chain, into the transportation cost of materials, we would see it on the food chain, in terms of nutrition at construction sites.

Read also: 2nd Niger Bridge will spur economic activities in Anambra, Delta – FG

“It is the same economy, but in these extremely challenging economic times both on the local and global levels.

“We should not be defined by the problems but how we respond to the problems.

“Mr. President is also being briefed from time to time.

According to him, 1,486 people have been directly employed for the Second Niger Bridge while another 8,110 indirect jobs have been created.

Fashola reassured that the Lagos to Ibadan road and the 2nd Niger bridge will be commissioned this year, depending of how government respond to the current changes in the economy and impact of the costs on the projects, while the Abuja- Kaduna- Kano road will be delivered 2nd quarter of 2023, before the President leaves.

“ These will depend on the challenges. Just last week we met some stakeholders where we raised the issue of stopping people from going to work on the Anambra side. People are told Mondays

So far so good we are already getting requests for augmentation and variations, but so far so good, nobody has issued an ultimatum to us, we are also working on how to do something and give the construction industry the comfort they need.

At the end of the day, they are part of the economy we want to build.
Early yesterday, we had a meeting on the sidelines of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and she was seeing it in another perspective of the budget.

Our antenna is collectively up and we will find a solution as we ought to do. Everybody must do something, I see the contractors doing something, maybe, the profit margin expected is not going to be as high as when they started.

Fashola disclosed that although tolling was not part of the condition for getting the Sukuk loans, it was an option that is left to the government.

On the tolling arrangements, he disclosed that the process has passed the pre- qualification stage, with 18 firms shortlisted out of the 75 companies.

According to him, “Bids have come in now and the project’s development team is analyzing the bids received.

“These have taken almost two and half years now and we haven’t finished” he said