BY SEBASTINE OBASI
Work on the long-awaited second Niger bridge has commenced. Wolfgang Goetsch, Managing Director of Julius Berger stated this at the 43rd annual general meeting of the company in Abuja.
Goetsch also said the Federal Government had given Julius Berger a letter of intent, which would enable it to do preliminary work such as, soil testing and engineering design.
According to him, the bridge is to be built under the private public partnership arrangement.
Goetsch said: “A consortium that included a company from South Africa participated in the bidding for the project. In January 2013, our group became the preferred bidder. We are excited because it will be the first of its kind in Nigeria”.
He also said mobilization to site for the construction of the 125-kilometre Lagos-Sagamu road will begin in 10 days.
Five lanes are expected to be added to the road. The Build, Operate and Transfer, BOT, arrangement the Federal Government had with Bi-Courtney Highways Services Limited, had been terminated.
At the annual general meeting, Julius Berger declared a profit before tax of N12.34 billion, for the 2012 financial year, as against N9.93 billion recorded in the previous year.
Profit after tax stood at N8.02 billion, as against N4.41 billion, while the company approved an increased dividend of N2.50, resulting in a total gross dividend payment of N3 billion.
This is a marked improvement over that of 2011 fiscal year, which was N2.40 per share. Retired Air Vice Marshal Nura Imam, chairman of the company, said the performance in 2012 increased by 17.7 percent from 2011.
“This commendable achievement is attributable to a number of factors, including the handover of large-scale projects such as the Admiralty Alexander link bridge in Lagos, the Escravos Gas-to-liquids plant, as well as the completion of a major segment of the Lagos-Badagry expressway and several projects in Akwa Ibom State,” he said.