The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the contract for the designing, building, financing and operation of the second Niger Bridge linking Anambra and Delta states under the private partnership scheme.
Briefing State House correspondents on the contract, the Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen said that the bridge forms a major link between the South-east and the South-west sub regions of the country.
He noted that the Federal Government is concerned about the challenges the old Niger Bridge has posed to road users on the route and expressed the government’s desire to take immediate action by constructing a second Niger bridge that will ease traffic on the axis.
Also approved is contract for the dualisation of the Kano-Maiduguri road, Section Two, at the cost of N8.3 million to complement the development effort of the Jigawa state government.
President Goodluck Jonathan was said to have received a report by the Jigawa state governor on the need to extend the road from Dutse – the capital of Jigawa state to the some part of the Kano-Maiduguri expressway, an extension of about 24.2 km.
The governor is building an airport and some housing estates there, hence the need for the dualisation of the Kano-Maiduguri expressway.
The council also approved the expansion of the 2.8 KM dual carriage road connecting the Apakun-Murtala Mohammed Airport road to a modern eight lane that will provide smooth movement of traffic. The contract was approved at N297million.
The expansion of the Airport road was one of the key campaign pledges made by President Goodluck Jonathan during his election campaigns in Lagos ahead of the 2011 presidential election.
While the Minister of Works asserted that the Jonathan administration has taken a firm step to deliver on the Onitsha Bridge, he also added that the importance of the Murtala Muhammed Airport road cannot be underestimated, noting that the road which has been in a state of disrepair will be re-designed to eight lanes.
Profiting from Olympic Games
The council also deliberated on the business angle of the 2012 Olympic Games currently holding in the United Kingdom.
According to the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Segun Aganga, a forum was put together by the Bank of Industry and the forum was said to have drawn global attention to Nigeria.
There was also a report on the recent trip of President Goodluck Jonathan to the Caribbean, while Jamaica was marking its 50 years of independence; Trinidad and Tobago marked its emancipation.
According to the council, the visit also projected Nigeria positively to the rest of the world.
It was also revealed that the people in the two Caribbean nations are now interested in tracing their ancestry to Nigeria.
The council agreed that despite the odds, Nigeria is a power house in global diplomacy and the FEC urged Nigerians at home to take such international recognition seriously.