The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, (NSIA) has said that it has only spent about N14 billion on the second Niger bridge project.
The money include N10 billion, a part of N18.3 billion so far released by the federal government for the project, which has been disbursed for early construction work and $2.21 million, about N4.4 billion which has been expended as consultancy costs on the project.
Managing director of the NSIA, Mr Uche Orji made this known during an interaction with journalists in Abuja, over the weekend.
According to the NSIA said $247,586, about N49 million has been spent on the due diligence phase of the project while $1.96 million, about N3.9 billion has been spent on the project development phase as consultancy services fees. These services, it noted, have included work in “legal, financial, technical and engineering and environmental social impact advisory, provided by various credible and well-recognised Nigerian and international professional services firms.”
Firms engaged in the consultancy services during the due diligence phase included: “FBN Capital as financial advisor; Murty International Limited as technical advisor; White & Case (UK) as legal advisor; WSP Group Africa, (South Africa) as technical advisor and Zephyrgold International (Nigeria) as technical advisor.”
On the project development phase, “Africa Finance Corporation (Nigeria) was engaged as financial advisor; Clifford Chance, UK and Templars (Nigeria) as legal advisors; Allot Nigeria Ltd and Takedo International, UK as traffic advisors; WSP Group Africa, (South Africa) as technical advisor and Aurecon (South Africa) as Environmental consultant.”
According to NSIA, the amount expended on consultancy services so far is less than one per cent of the estimated total cost of the project which was initially estimated to cost N108 billion excluding duties and Value Added Tax.
This is contrary to recent outcry by Edo State Governor, Mr Adams Oshiomhole that about N140 billion had been expended on the project and that $700 million was surreptitiously moved from the Sovereign Wealth Fund, SWF, for the same bridge.
NSIA said under the Public Private Partnership, PPP arrangement for the project, the Federal Government made a N30 billion commitment to the project while the consortium is expected to raise the remaining funds for the project from Nigerian and international lenders and equity providers.
It said, the federal government has so far released N18 billion of which N10 billion has been disbursed for early construction works.
The statement reads: “NSIA assembled a team of Nigerian and international advisers with proven capabilities and global experience in Public Private Partnership, PPP infrastructure projects to ensure the Project gets first-class advisory services. These consultants were engaged through a rigorous and competitive procurement process.
To date, NSIA has spent a total of US$2.21 million on consultancy services on the two phases of the Project – US$247,586 on the due diligence phase; and US$1.96million on the project development phase. These services have included work in the following areas: Legal, Financial, Technical & Engineering and Environmental Social Impact Advisory, provided by various credible and well-recognised Nigeria and international professional services firms. Total consultancy services cost so far is less than one per cent of the estimated project cost.