President Jonathan today, March 10, 2014 performed the ground breaking ceremony of the second Niger Bridge at Onitsha, Anambra state.
Also present at the event were Abia State governor, Chief Theodore Orji, several South East traditional rulers, and other dignitaries. In his speech, President Jonathan stated that the construction of the second Niger bridge was a fulfillment of his electoral campaign promise to the South-Eastern people, adding that the project was a sincere promise that had become concrete reality. The President also stated that his administration’s Transformation Agenda in the road sector included the construction of two very important new bridges, across Nigeria’s two great rivers – the River Niger and River Benue. These are the Loko-Oweto Bridge linking Nassarawa and Benue States, which is progressing satisfactorily, and the 2nd Niger Bridge, connecting Anambra and Delta States. He went on to express optimism that the new bridge will alleviate the pains experienced by travellers as a result of congestion of the old bridge, particularly during festive periods. It will massively improve road transportation in the South-East of Nigeria, and also reduce travel times substantially, in this part of the country. The construction work is expected to be completed within 48 months, under a public private partnership(PPP) arrangement, using Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) model. The concessionaire, Messrs Julius Berger-NSIA Consortium is to deliver the project at the cost of N117 Billion. The concession period is expected to last 25 years, with the Federal Government making a contribution of 25% of the construction cost, in the sum of N30 Billion. At the event, President Jonathan described the 2nd Niger bridge as an important economic artery that will connect the great markets of Onitsha and Aba, as well as the industrial hub of Nnewi and beyond, to both the Northern and Southern parts of the country.