By FAVOUR NNABUGWU
The Federal government has, Wednesday, signed a tripartite agreement with Julius Berger, and the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) for the construction of Bonny-Bode Road and for the part-funding of N60billion by NLNG.
The Minister of Power, Works & Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola who signed the tripartite agreement between the federal government, the Managing Director of Julius Berger, Mr Wolfgang Goestch and the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr Tony Attah in Abuja, said the contract was awarded to Julius Berger based on its experience and history.
On the part-funding by NLNG, the Minister described NLNG’s part-funding as a major statement of the Federal government’s partnership with the private sector.
FG made a commitment of N60.6billion for the project while NLNG will provide the remaining N60 billion to ensure successful completion of the project.
“NLNG, a corporate organization has decided to part-fund 50 percent of the N120.6billion. NLNG”.
Commenting on the contract award to Julius Berger, Fashola stated, “There are some organizations but not many that has Julius Berger’s experience and history.”
He said the gesture was in compliance with the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) of the federal government, a commitment to develop the Niger Delta as well as the partnership with the private sector as major contributor to national growth.
Fashola said: “Essentially, we will formally sign the agreement today. It concluded the procurement process for starting the constructing process of the Bonny bridge.
“This is important for many reasons. First, it complied with the ERGP which the President launched to revive the economy and one of the pillars of that plan is infrastructure provision…therefore NLNG has decided for reasons which you will hear from them to add funds on equal basis to the project to the value of N120.6 billion and they will be taking 50 per cent of the cost of delivering the project while government takes 50 percent of the cost.
“This is a major statement in partnership with the private sector to deliver public use. We gather here to improve the quality of lives in the Niger Delta, spend more on developing infrastructure. We assure that immediately work starts, we will start to see improvements in the various value chains.”
In his remarks, NLNG Managing Director, Tony Attah, said the project will open the Niger Delta to new frontiers of development and secure better opportunities for the rural communities.
He said the gesture was part of their efforts in contributing to the development of the region.
Attah said, “NLNG has drastically reduced gas flaring from over 65 per cent before it commenced operation to 20 percent today.”
Beyond the project, he disclosed plans to make the Bonny mini-Dubai, such that a sum of $3 billion will be committed to the region for genuine development in the next 25 years.
On his part, Julius Berger, MD, Mr Goestch said the award of the contract to the construction company showed the confidence the federal government and the NLNG have in Julius Berger.
According to him, “We will deliver the project, according the contract agreement and there will be no compromise on the quality of the project. This has been our trademark in the past 50years.”