Reps to probe 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway contracts

OrderPaperToday  – The House of Representatives on Thursday mandated its Committee on Works to investigate the nature of the contracts and concession arrangements on the Second Niger Bridge and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The resolution was taken during plenary presided over by Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yusuff Lasun.

Moving the motion titled: “Need to Investigate the Nature of the Contract and/or Concession Agreement on the Second Niger Bridge and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway”, Mr. Solomon Maren (PDP, Plateau ) said that unless the projects were completed, commuters would continue to experience gridlock and difficulties plying the routes.

He said: “The House notes that contracts for construction of the Second Niger Bridge and reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway have continued to feature in the annual budgets without any seeming signs of their completion or the amount required to do so.

“The revelation by the Hon. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola while commenting on the 2017 Appropriation Act that monies for the projects were reduced and they may become elephant projects as they are not under any concessional or Public Private Partnership (PPP) Arrangement.

“The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) had spent about N18 billion on the projects as the financier during their early stages

“The completion of the projects is pivotal to national development as they have potentials to douse tension across the country, especially in the face of the widespread agitations for restructuring of the governance mode of the country and separation by some pressure group

“The manner of the execution of the projects is not in accordance with defined methods for executing projects and/or contracting procedures

“Unless proactive steps are taken to ensure completion of the projects, the efforts that have been made to ease the transportation difficulties of the people would have been in vain, business would continue to suffer heavy losses and operational costs, while the originally intended aim of galvanizing the various interests of Nigerians through the execution of the projects will remain unfulfilled”.

Contributing to the motion, Mr. Mohammed Sani (APC, Bauchi ) said it was necessary to ascertain whether the projects were concessioned or subsumed under direct funding by the federal government.

He said: “We should define a particular form of contract. Federal Ministry of Works will decide on the form of contract”.

It was later established that Lagos-Ibadan road was under concession while the Second Niger bridge was not.

Making further clarification on the matter, Mr. Ali Madaki (APC, Kano) said that “there is a concession agreement which was signed on the Lagos-Ibadan road in the previous government of President Jonathan which I believe is still binding on this government.”

Ruling on the motion, Mr. Lasun referred the matter to the Committee on Works to investigate the nature of the Contracts and concession arrangements and report back within 4 weeks for further legislative action.

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