By Dianabasi Effiong
Bonny Island – President Muhammadu Buhari’s led Federal Government has demonstrated that indeed good governance can guarantee infrastructure development with less resources.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made this assertion on Thursday in Bonny Island at the ground breaking of the N120.6 billion Bodo-Bonny Road project.
The contract for the project was awarded by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration at a cost of N20 billion in 2002.
The project’s contract was reportedly re-awarded by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in 2014 after years of abandonment at a contract re-validation value of N120 billion.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the road project is jointly funded by the Federal Government and the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).
Osinbajo said that it was no secret that Nigeria had at a time in its recent past earned in excess of $100 for every barrel of crude oil sold.
He said that in spite of such oil windfall significant projects like the Bodo-Bonny Bridge remained undone.
“Today, we are earning probably 60 per cent less than in the past five years but we are spending the highest ever amount on capital projects.
“ So, projects like the Bodo-Bonny Bridge are being done. The Buhari administration is proving that the clear advantage of good governance is that you can do more with less resources,” Osinbajo said.
He said the commencement of work on the road linking the island to the main land of Bodo was “ a commemoration of a promise kept’’.
“The Bodo Bonny bridge and road project is a Public Private Partnership arrangement, in which the Federal Government and the NLNG will each bear 50 per cent of the N120.6 billion that it will cost to complete the bridge.
“It is only the latest in a series of similarly transformational infrastructure partnershi ongoing across the country,” Osinbajo added.
The Vice President also stated that the Federal Government was committed to the transformation of the Niger Delta region, adding that the Bodo project is a symbol of change.
Osinbajo said: “The Bodo Bonny bridge project is a symbol of change, of hope, of renewal, and of our commitment in investing in what truly matters the most – the welfare of our people.
“The project is a dividend of the blossoming peace in the Niger Delta and demonstration of faith in our new vision for the region.
“The new vision is a new way of thinking aimed at ensuring that the people of the region benefit maximally from the wealth of their land.
“It is the embodiment of our commitment to achieving a clean break from the neglect and failed promises that defined the past.
“Every part of Nigeria matters to us as a government and we will continue to demonstrate this in small ways and large ways.’’
He also commended the people of the Niger Delta for believing in the Federal Government’s new vision for the region which, according to him “is steadily yielding dividends and restoring lasting peace’’.
He commended the partnership and enthusiasm exhibited by NLNG for the project and urged other private investors to emulate the company.
While in Bonny Island, the Vice President paid a courtesy visit to the paramount ruler of Bonny Kingdom, King Edward Williams Dappa Pepple III.