The office of the vice president has clarified that the federal government only released the amount of 2 billion naira towards the second Niger bridge as correctly reported by Elombah.com.
The announcement of 2 billion dollars is a mistake, the vice president stated.
Headlines of some media houses, and in comments on social media has quoted the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, as saying that government through the Sovereign Wealth Fund paid $2 billion for that same project to the contractor, Julius Berger for works on the bridge.
But in a press statement by Laolu Akande, Senior Media Aide to the vice president, and made available to elombah.com this morning, Akande said:
“During the APC Governorship campaign flag-off in Onitsha, Anambra State, on Friday, October 20, 2017, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, had reiterated the Buhari administration’s commitment to keeping its promises to the Nigerian people.
“One of these promises is the construction of the second Niger Bridge.
“In the official press release I sent on the Vice President’s remarks during the campaign rally in Onitsha that 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”.
“However, a short video clip from the event captured on the news segment of a television channel quoted Prof. Osinbajo as mentioning “$2bn”, and not “N2bn”, 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.
“It is also pertinent to state that the highlight of the rally and Prof. Osinbajo’s remarks was the commitment of this 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 it 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 had said.
“Please note, again, the sum provided for this is actually two billion naira (N2 billion).”