Against expectations by Nigerians on the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, the National Assembly has revealed that there is no existing contract for the project.
The disclosure was made during a joint press conference by spokesperson of the two federal chambers, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi and Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas, while responding to allegations that it slashed fund meant for the project.
On Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari had while signing the 2018 budget raised concern at the altercation of the fiscal document by the legislature.
Buhari accused the lawmakers of removing and inserting projects without recourse to the executive, adding that funds for certain projects, including the Second Niger Bridge, was slashed by the National Assembly.
But denying the claim, the legislature which exerted its power to appropriate the budget, said it reduced N900 million from the N10 billion proposed by the executive for the project to fund ancillary roads connected to the Bridge.
NASS revealed that funds appropriated for the bridge in 2016 and 2017 fiscal years were unused, adding that no ongoing work on the project.
“Addressing the issue of the Second Niger Bridge project, apart from early works, as of today, there is no existing contract for the Second Niger Bridge in spite of frequent requests from the National Assembly.
“The N900million reduced from the N10billion proposed by the Executive was deployed to fund ancillary roads that connect to the Bridge.
“It should again be noted that the N12.5billion and the N7.5billion appropriated for the Second Niger Bridge in the 2016 and 2017 budget by the National Assembly were never utilized for the project.”