[FILES] 2020 Progress Report on the Second Niger Bridge which comprises 1.6 km long River Niger Bridge; 10.3km Highway, Owerri Interchange and Toll Station. Photo; TWITTER/FMWHNIGPresident Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Second Niger Bridge has attained 46 per cent completion status.
He made this known on Thursday at the presentation of the 2021 budget estimate of N13.08 trillion before a joint session of the National Assembly.
Buhari, who was optimistic about the early completion of the bridge said; “We hope to commission the project before the end of our tenure in 2023.
“We have awarded several contracts to rehabilitate, reconstruct, and construct major arterial roads, in order to reduce the hardship to commuters and increase economic activity.”
Buhari said that other areas of achievement recorded by his administration were agriculture.
“We have recorded success in rice and other crops mainly through the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, anchored by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), respectively.
“We are also accelerating the construction of 337 rural roads around key agricultural corridors to enhance access to market and reduce post-harvest losses.
“These efforts have reduced the adverse impact of Coronavirus on our food availability, prices and security,” the president said.
On the railway system, Buhari said that his government had made progress on the railway projects connecting different parts of the country, stating that the Lagos-Ibadan line would soon be operational.
He further said that the Abuja-Kaduna line was running efficiently while the Itakpe-Ajaokuta line was finally completed after over 30 years since it was initiated and commissioned in Sept. 2020.
“Arrangements are underway to complete the Ibadan-Kano line. Also, work will soon commence on the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri line and Calabar-Lagos Coastal line, which will connect the Southern and Eastern States to the North, and the South-South as well as South-East to the North, and South-West, respectively,” he added.
The President said that to bridge the infrastructure deficit, the government was implementing innovative financing strategies to pull in private sector investment.
“The Infrastructure Company, which I recently approved, will become a world-class infrastructure development vehicle, wholly focused on making critical infrastructural investments in Nigeria.
“This Infrastructure Company will raise funding from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, the Africa Finance Corporation, pension funds as well as local and foreign private sector development financiers.
“Under the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, we are undertaking the construction and rehabilitation of over 780 kilometers of roads and bridges, nationwide, to be financed by the grant of tax credits to investing business.
“Ongoing projects under this scheme include Construction and Rehabilitation of Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba-Ilorin Road Section II (Obajana-Kabba) in Kogi and Kwara States.
“Construction of Apapa-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway in Lagos State; and construction of Bodo-Bonny road with a bridge across the Opobo Channel in Rivers State,” the president said.