Contrary to video, N2b was released for Second Niger Bridge, not $2b - Presidency
The Office of Nigeria’s Vice President has corrected the report that the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was quoted as saying that “$2 billion” was released to contractors for the Second Niger Bridge, saying it was “N2 billion”.
Mr. Akande gave the clarification on Tuesday following some reports quoting Mr. Osinbajo as announcing $2 billion released for the project instead of N2 billion.
According to Mr. Akande, during the APC governorship campaign in Onitsha, Anambra State, on October 20, Mr. Osinbajo had reiterated the Buhari administration’s commitment to keeping its promises to the Nigerian people.
He said that one of those promises was the construction of the second Niger Bridge, adding that the correct amount released was in the official news release he sent on the vice president’s remarks during the campaign rally same day.
“I did quote the VP as saying that “the Sovereign Wealth Fund paid N2 billion for that same project (Sum paid to the contractor: Julius Berger for early works).
“We will definitely see our second Niger Bridge, we will not make promises we cannot keep,” Mr. Akande recalled.
He, however, observed that a short video clip from the event captured on the news segment of a television channel quoted Mr. Osinbajo as mentioning “$2 billion” and not “N2 billion ”, which was what he had actually meant to say.
“Mentioning the dollar currency was inadvertent.
“As it happened, the excerpt from the video, which was shared online, was what was quoted in the headlines of some media houses, and in comments on social media.
“The figures were misplaced. Kindly set the records straight, from the speech I had sent.
“Please note, again, the sum provided for this is actually two billion naira (N2 billion),’’ Mr. Akande added.
He stated that it was also pertinent to state that the highlight of the rally and Mr. Osinbajo’s remarks was the commitment of the administration to improve the country’s transportation network and economy.
“The APC government is a government that will do everything it has promised. We are not making promises for nothing.
“The second Niger Bridge we have been talking about for a long time, but for the first time, the President went by himself to negotiate the facility to do that second Niger Bridge.
“That is why the second Niger Bridge is in our current budget and we have provided for it,” the vice president was quoted to have stated.