By Obinna Chima
The Managing Director of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr. Uche Orji has disclosed that the ongoing construction of the Second Niger Bridge has achieved a completion rate of 47 per cent.
Speaking during an interview at the weekend, he expressed optimism that the project would be completed in 2022.
“Work is going on at the second Niger Bridge and it is over 47 per cent completed. It is a public-private partnership. The Ministry of Works awarded that contract, but the full concession agreement would be signed very soon that would hand it over to the NSIA,” he explained.
According to him, the NSIA would also be fully involved in the proposed InfraCo by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which also would involve the Africa Finance Corporation.
Orji said the proposed infrastructure company which has been approved by the President, would be a vehicle to support the development of infrastructure in the country.
Commenting on how the pandemic affected the operations of the NSIA, Orji said: “Year-to-date, many things have affected our programmes and our plans. I don’t think anybody I know has executed the plan they had. Whatever they planned to do in terms of project in February or March, has not happened and if they have done, it would have been different from whatever the intention was.
“On the Infrastructure Fund, we have executed a lot of projects and we have done very well. In our healthcare projects, we have commissioned two diagnostic centres, one in Kano and another in Umuahia. We have many more projects in the pipeline and over the next 12 months we expect to execute three more of such projects – one in Abuja and we are yet to decide on the centre for the other two.
“In terms of healthcare, we have 14 projects. Along with The Global Citizen, we have created the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund, which is a fund that is going to be used in developing the healthcare centre. This is a fund owned by Global Citizen and the NSIA is the fund manager.
“In agriculture, we have a number of interventions and we are the manager of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI). We also have a demonstration farm in Nassarawa State and a couple of others. Our PFI suffered the full impact of Covid-19, such that transportation was affected. Things are back to normalcy now, but it affected during that period.”