FG May Open Bids for Construction of Asaba Flyover
There are strong indications that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) may soon open bids for the construction of a new flyover bridge at Asaba, Delta State. The Asaba Flyover, which will be located at Ibusa road, across Benin-Onitsha expressway, will start from the Onitsha end and terminate at the Benin end of the express road, allowing motor vehicles coming to Asaba from Ibusa/Ogwashi-Uku end to ply under the bridge, thereby decongesting traffic and reducing carnages on that spot.
XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE understands that some major construction companies have shown strong interest already. Setraco Nigeria Limited, a leading engineering construction company with over 35 years working experience in bridge construction, was in Asaba last week to look at the project site and do a first-hand assessment of the work to be done. The expectation is that they will return at a later date for more assessment. XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE also gathered that other construction companies interested in the project are also coming for their assessment and be ready to submit their bids as soon as the FGN opens bids.
A federal government source that is well informed of the current stage of the Asaba Flyover project told XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE that the FG will open bids as soon as the project gets the nod from the Nigeria National Assembly (NASS).
He said: “The budget for the project has not been approved yet. It is still with the NASS. The bids will be open immediately the project is approved by the NASS and it will be a competitive bid. So nothing has been decided and nothing is expected to be done now until and unless the budget is passed. But with Senator Peter Nwaoboshi as the Senate committee chairman on NDDC/Niger Delta, it will take a mistake of major proportion not to have that particular item approved by the NASS.”
XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE can authoritatively report that Setraco came all the way from Abuja to Asaba to assess the project on the behest of Senator Nwaoboshi, which tends to indicate that the Ibusa-born Senator is at the thick of things regarding the Asaba flyover.
However, there are conflicting opinions as to who, between Senator Nwaoboshi and the Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, is attracting this massive and important project to Delta State from the FG. Sources very close to Senator Peter Nwaoboshi tell XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE that the project is the brain child of the senator and that he is at the driving seat towards its actualisation.
“It is not a State govt project but federal, and it is Senator Nwaoboshi who is pulling the strings from the very top, at the federal government level. And he plans to prevail on the NDDC to construct the fly over,” said one source.
Another source inside Okowa’s cabinet, who told XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE that he was privy to how Okowa struck the deal with President Muhammadu Buhari, insists that it is Okowa’s project. He dismisses the assertion that Senator Nwaoboshi is championing the project as “frivolous,” “a white lie” and “utter nonsense.”
“There is no truth in that. It’s the brain child of Governor Okowa and he is spear-heading it. He has already received a firm assurance from President Buhari that it is a done deal. For Senator Nwaoboshi, there is nothing wrong with his latching on to the Asaba Flyover project initiated by his State governor and using his contacts as a sitting senator to push for the realization of the project.
“But to claim that he is the main driver is frivolous, a white lie and utter nonsense. I would say he is trying to compliment the effort of the governor in bringing major development to the State through the federal government. But there is no question as to whose project it is: it’s Governor Okowa’s,” he concluded.
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The facilitator(s) is irrelevant, but the project is of utmost priority to us. Let them shield their sword and allow the project see the light of the day.