Sogbesan Adetokunbo, Director of Highway Bridges and Design, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, has said the main project on the second Niger bridge will gulp N210 billion.
Adetokunbo, who said this on Friday in Asaba during a media tour of the project, noted that the Federal Government had begun the procurement processes for the award of the project.
He said that a memo had been written to the Bureau of Public Procurement and thereafter, would be sent to the Federal Executive Council for approval.
Adetokunbo told newsmen that early works on the project were near completion.
He said that the early works were preliminary projects to be completed before the award of the main contract.
The director explained that the early works were in four phases adding that phase one, two and three were 100 per cent completed.
This, he said, involved the design of the road, soil investigation, preliminary drawing and final engineering drawing while early work two and three comprises of piling and embankment works.
He said early work was 45 per cent completed and currently ongoing at the two ends of the bridge at Onitsha and Asaba axis.
“The main works will be awarded in the next one or two months and the approach roads from Asaba and Onitsha axis will be awarded before the end of the year.
“When the main bridge is awarded, there will be a lot of piling works in the water and that is what people will see.
“They can stand on the existing bridge and see piling works going on but where we are working now is at the end of the two sides of the bridge.
“Most people on the existing bridge will not see what is happening now but once the main work is awarded, everybody will see it.
“It is a project that is very critical not only to Nigerian economy but also to countries along the corridors including Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Uganda and Kenya,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Innocent Alumonah, Federal Controller of Works, Anambra, recalled that the existing Niger Bridge was constructed in 1965 and commissioned in 1966.
He said the second Niger Bridge was conceived upon the realisation of the fact the existing one had been overstretched.
”The Federal Government has done a lot of work to strengthen the existing bridge, the excessive axle load; the age of the bridge necessitated the idea of the second Niger Bridge.
“The enhanced economic activities within the road corridors between the South-East and South-South part which also put pressure on the existing bridge is another reason for the project,” he said.