FG disburses N18.3b counterpart funds for Second Niger Bridge
The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA)- managers of the more than $2 billion Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF)- has given a status report on the ongoing Second Niger Bridge project under a joint public, private partnership between the Nigerian Government and some private equity capital firms, including the NSIA.
According to the NSIA, the Nigerian government has so far disbursed N18.3 billion of her N30 billion commitment to the project, adding that the Fund too has so far spent $2.1 million on consultancy services. The information is contained in a status report on the project released by the NSIA in Abuja.
The total cost of the project was estimated at N108 billion at conception but it has gone up to N117.9 billion due to the falling value of the Nigerian currency in relation to other world currencies.
While reporting the progress status of the Second Niger Bridge, the Vice President, Infrastructure Investment and Special Advisor to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Project, Mr. Obinna Ihedioha, said it was initially estimated to cost N108billion, excluding duties and VAT (if duties and VAT are included), regretting that the project cost is now N117.9billion.
He gave reason for the increase in cost: “This was equivalent to $700million at the then prevailing exchange rate of N154/$. The final project cost would naturally be affected by exchange rate fluctuations and other variables.” The bridge will be constructed and operated on a Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis.