By Ella Anokam
The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has signed a tripartite agreement of N120 billion with Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and Julius Berger Plc for the construction of Bonny-Bodo road.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, at the tripartite agreement and contract signing on Wednesday in Abuja said the project would revive and strengthen the nation’s economy.
The 34 kilometres road when completed would boost socio-economic development in the country and improve the lives of Nigerians in the Niger Delta region living on Bonny Island, Ogoni, Okrika, Eleme and Andoni.
Fashola emphasised that the project was in compliance with the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which had infrastructural provision as one of its pillars.
“The project portrays the commitment of the government to clean and build up as well as reposition the Niger Delta region recognising the private sector partnership in the country.
“NLNG as a corporate organisation has decided to fund half of the project by taking 50 per cent cost of delivering the project while the Federal Government takes 50 per cent.
He, however, said the project showed government’s strong credibility and desire to push forward its commitment towards the nation’s economic revival.
According to the minister, the road on completion will connect communities in the Rivers bringing about development in the country.
Earlier, the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr Tony Attah noted that NLNG agreed to provide 50 per cent counterpart funding, amounting to N60 billion to boost socio economic development in the region.
“This is part of our effort to contribute to the advancement of the Niger Delta.
“It will lead to the accomplishment of the dream of connecting Bonny Island to the rest of Rivers state by road and not only by sea.
“Our greater joy is that the road will ease the plight of people of Bonny Island, the community that has hosted NLNG Plant and operations for so long.
“Over the years our empathy with the host community especially with the respect to transportation challenges on Bonny Sea compelled us to open up our company business vessels to accommodate community members.
On the company’s financial contributions to Nigeria, he said “it generated 90 billion dollars in revenue as at 2015, paid 5.7 billion dollars in taxes and committed more than 200 million dollars to corporate social responsibility projects.
“The company also pays N6 billion annually to the Rivers State Government and N140 million annually to the Bonny Local Government Council,’’ he said.
Attah further noted that through its corporate social responsibility, it recently spent 12 million dollars on building, refurbishing and equipping engineering laboratories of six universities selected from six geopolitical zones.
The Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc., Wolfgang Goesh, thanked the Federal Government for its trust and confidence reposed on the company.
Goesh assured that the company would deliver a qualitative and timely project.