• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Inflation: FG to review cost of 2nd Niger Bridge, others – Fashola

FG to commission Second Niger bridge in May 2023

Federal Government says it has put in place mechanisms to review costs of ongoing major legacy projects of the Buhari administration, including 2nd Niger bridge, Lagos-Ibadan expressway and the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road projects.

Minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, stated this Thursday during the special weekly briefing coordinated by the Presidential Communications Team at the State House Abuja.

The briefing was to enable him provide updates on key collaborations between the federal and 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, have seen their costs increasing as inflation bites harder, with the cost of major consumables, including diesel, petrol, bitumen, hitting the roof.

BusinessDay gathered that the costs of the projects were calculated on N162 per litre of petrol as against the current average cost of N250 per litre, while diesel cost was initially based at N350 per litre whereas the product now sells N750 per litre.

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

“The 375-kilometre Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway, was originally projected to gulp N797 billion, Second Niger Bridge, 11.59km, at N206 billion, while the 127 kilometres 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 percent completion.

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

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

The minister revealed that the 43.60km Lagos to Shagamu end of the Lagos- Ibadan Expressway, is estimated to gulp N134,861,795,702.80 with N83,689,337,929.04 paid so far for the 57.35 percent completed portion, while the project will consume 34,481,301.71 litres of diesel and 28,704.65 tons 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 the government N123,809,286,067.35, for the 69.46 percent completed session, while the project will consume 45,124,092.00 litres of diesel as well as 53,940.38 tons of bitumen.

On when the projects will be completed, Fashola said that Lagos- Ibadan Expressway and 2nd Niger Bridge would be completed this year 2022, while the main carriageway of Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway has been scheduled for completion by the second quarter of 2023, adding that ancillary works would 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 petrol and other petroleum products on the roads, saying they deteriorate the roads faster.

Read also: CBN holds interest rate at 11.5% over imported inflation concerns

BusinessDay gathered that already, the ministers of works and housing, and minister of finance budget and national have met and agreed on the review of the budgetary allocations, as well as a possible supplementary budget, to deal with the rising inflation.

Fashola explained that although the 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 site.

“Mr. President is also being briefed from time to time. According to him, 1,486 people have been directly employed for the 2nd Niger Bridge while another 8,110 indirect jobs have been created.

Fashola said 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 projects development team is analysing the bids received.

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