By Uche Mbah
German construction giant, Julius Berger, has opened a website to disseminate information about the progress of work at the second Niger Bridge. This followed controversies over the state of the contract work on the bridge, which many believe the central government is paying lip service to.
Recall that contract for the constructin of the bridge was awarded by the goodluck Jonathan administration to Julius Berger in a Public Private participation contract, where the company jointly funds the contract while recouping their money after the construction via tolls. Jonathan was said to have paid almost the government part when President Buhari came and cancelled the contract immediately. Currently it is funded through the presidential infrastructure development fund (PIDF
For sometime now, it has become an item for political propaganda, as a means of winning votes for elections.
Surprisingly, Julius Berger has opened up to clear the confusions by opening up a site for information on the project.
Last November, the Federal Government reviewed the contract to Julius Berger, with a fresh award of N206 billion, believed by many to have been overinflated.
In a statement from the media office of Julius Berger, they said any one who wants information on the second Niger bridge should visit www.secondrivernigerbridge.com.
“The objective of the website is to make the project progress visible to the general public,” the press statement said.
“Visitors to the site will have access to visually driven content mainly photos and videos reflecting the actual status of construction work along with key facts and regularly updated data relevant to project progress.
“The Second Niger Bridge is a Federal Government Project that is being managed by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in collaboration with the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority. It will bring great relief to the many commuters who currently use the over 50-year-old existing bridge.
“It will also link the great markets of Onitsha and Aba, as well as the industrial hub of Nnewi and beyond, to both the Northern and Southern parts of the country.”
Ironically, this is the first time that Julius Berger is opening up a website on information management on any of their projects. This may have resulted from the controversies following it.