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Ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari proposed commissioning of the 2nd Niger Bridge later this year, strong indications have emerged that the bridge may be tolled alongside other federal highways.
This was as eleven construction firms have now indicated interest to manage and toll the 12 selected highways across the nation.
The Eastern Updates gathered that the concessionaires (firms) will assume the responsibilities of developing and managing their respective highways for an agreed period of time, including the economic rights over all revenue generating commercial activities from the Highway Economy along the Right of Way.
Describing the Second Niger Bridge as a national infrastructure with immense socio-economic benefits for the contiguous states and the entire nation, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari , Professor Ibrahim Gambari, who in company of the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, his Labour and Productivity counterpart, Dr. Chris Ngige and the Managing Director of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Uche Orji, inspected the bridge on Tuesday 8, 2022, said that the project has once again demonstrated the president’s commitment to bridging Nigeria’s infrastructure gap.
He said that the project being implemented by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing is funded through the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund in conjunction with NSIA.
On tolling of the asset when completed, Gambari said that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had developed a National Tolling Policy (NTP) for the entire nation and that whether or not the bridge would be tolled was not the key issue, but that government’s priority of the government was to get the project delivered.
He added that if the road was eventually tolled, there would be alternative route.
‘So, when this bridge is tolled, the old bridge is an alternative route, so you have the choice to make between speed and price,’ he said.
Speaking on the possibility of managing the bridge through a concession arrangement, the Minister of Works and Housing said the major responsibility of the government was to deliver the project in collaboration with NSIA.
THE EASTERN UPDATES