Nigeria’s federal government has disclosed that motorists will pay toll levy on Second Niger Bridge, named Muhammadu Buhari Bridge, when it is completed.
Prof Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, made the disclosure during an inspection of the project.
He noted that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had developed a National Tolling Policy for the entire nation.
According to him, if the road was tolled, there would be an alternative route, “so, when this bridge is tolled, the old bridge is an alternative route, so you have the choice to make between speed and price,” he said.
In a statement by the Director (Press and Public Relations) of the Ministry of Works and Housing, Boade Akinola, on Wednesday, Gambari however stated that tolling the bridge was not the key issue for the federal government but to get the project delivered.
He further described the bridge as a national infrastructure with immense socio-economic benefits for the contiguous states and the entire nation.
He also assured that it would be completed by April 2022 and commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari before the end of the year.
Speaking, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the major responsibility of the government was to deliver the project in collaboration with NSIA, saying: “Once we have finished, if they choose to concession, they can concession.”
Fashola said that the ministry had secured the approval of the FEC on a National Tolling Policy that is of international standard.
“Concessioning of projects is regulated by law. There are rules on how it is done.
“We are currently supervising the concession of 12 highways across Nigeria through the Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI) and the process is opened to the general public.
“So, if we choose to concession this one, it will also be opened to the general public.”
The Minister said work on the bridge had reached an appreciable level and appealed to the communities around the impressive Second Niger Bridge project to bear with the Federal Government as power supply was going to be interrupted for two weeks to put finishing touches to the project, adding that adequate notice would be given ahead.