The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), has briefed President Muhammadu Buhari, on some of the reasons why the construction of the Second Niger Bridge has been slowed down.
The Director-General of the Commission, Aminu Dikko, who spoke to State House correspondents after briefing the President, said the ICRC was currently withholding its Certificate of Compliance for the project because of many issues regarding the project that the Commission was not comfortable with.
Mr Dikko said the Commission was engaging the Ministry of Works on how to resolve the issues and therefore had asked the ministry to review the cost of the project.
He also identified the clamour for compensation by owners of the land, where the project is being sighted as one of the pending issues.
The Director-General said he has no idea of the present state of the project, where the groundbreaking was done with fanfare by the administration of former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
He, however, said it was normal for projects under the Public Private Partnership to take time, calling on Nigerians to be patient with the Commission.
He urged Nigerians who had been insisting on the completion of the project to be patient, adding that PPP projects could not be completed speedily like normal contracts where money is made available to contractors after they are awarded.
“For the Second Niger bridge there will be a lot of studies that needs to be done on the integrity of the bridge itself which will take time. It is not something we can see being completed in the next six months.
“I will like us to be patient about it, we know that it is a critical road, we also know how Nigerians suffer during festive holidays and we hear people sleep on that old bridge.The time has come for us to bring succour to Nigerians”, he maintained.
Dikko said the President issued two directives on the 33 silos built across the country and the need for MDAs to include project development in their budgets.
“What the President has directed is that we should involve the state governors to see how best they can encourage their farmers to utilise these silos when they come into effect.
“The President directed that MDAs should ensure that they have adequate funding for development of project in their budgets, and if they don’t they should look for alternative ways of getting such funding”, he said.