The Guto-Bagana Bridge is located across River Benue about 112 km downstream of Makurdi Bridge and 103 km of the confluence of River Niger and Benue at Lokoja in Nigeria.
Bagana is about 83 km from Ankpa and 129 km from Otukpa which lies on Route A3 i.e. Makurdi-Otukpa-Enugu-Port Harcourt Federal Highway.
Guto end of the Bridge is about 30 km from Loko, the terminal point of Nassarawa-Loko Federal Road.
The development of a good transportation system in World’s developing countries like Nigeria is a major stimulant to the economic growth and development of its citizenry. It ensures the efficient movement of persons and goods for enhanced social quality of life.
The Federal Government of Nigeria, in pursuance of its infrastructural development objectives, conceived the idea of a second Bridge across River Benue between Bagana and Oweto with great potentials of sustainable economic growth, promotion of culture and tourism, and cultural integration with accelerated development of the area.
To this end, an Advertisement was made by the Federal Ministry of Works, Abuja in the Thisday Newspaper of Thursday, 29th June. 2006 inviting competent and qualified companies. Thereafter, a thorough prequalification was carried out and the consortium led by Swede Control Intertek Ltd. was prequalified to submit a financial & technical proposal with preliminary drawings. This was submitted by 9th August 2006.
The Consortium of Private Partners were:
- Swede Control Intertek Limited – Lead Consortium member;
- Lassa Limited;
- Peb04 Limited;
- Enplar Associates;
- Odomac Nigeria Limited; and
- ProMan_VITAL Ventures Limited – Project Co-ordinator.
The Project, being the first-of-its-kind in the transport sector of the Nigeria
economy, is unique in its manner of promoting societal harmony in the area while enhancing economic growth through ecotourism. It is also of International Standard in terms of conformity with environmental norms and global best practices.
An Inter-Ministerial Committee was set up in year 2006 by Mr. President (President Olusegun Obasanjo) to consider the proposals of various Tenders, particularly for the Bagana-Guto Bridge Project. It eventually led to an invitation to make a Final Submission to an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) by 12 noon, Monday, 11th Dec. 2006.
A Public-Private Partnership (PPP) was highly preferred with a Design-Build-Operate-Transfer (DBOT) concept. The submission having the development of two associated Eco-tourism Enterprise Villages (EEV) and Link Roads was selected.
The ‘Public-Private Partnership (PPP)’ was named “Digital Toll Company Limited (DTCL)” to be the Concessionaire company and operate as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). The PPP-SPV, under the “Design-Build-Operate-Transfer (DBOT)” contextual framework, is structured to have 60% (sixty percent) for the Private Partners and 40% (forty percent) for the Public Partners.
The Federal Executive Council at its 18th meeting held on Wednesday 16th of May, 2007 approved the Project and it was subsequently flagged off on 12th May, 2007. The award of concession contract was given dated 4th June, 2007, after the Concession Agreement was signed and sealed on the 21st May, 2007 by the Parties to the PPP – namely, Federal Government of Nigeria, Kogi State Government, Nassarawa State Government, and a Consortium of Private Partners.
A Public Technical Presentation of the of the Preliminary Design of Bagana-Guto Bridge over River Benue was presented to the stakeholders by the designer of the Bridge, Professor Raz Mor at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on the 28th August, 2008.
The main objective of Digital Toll Company Limited (DTCL) on the Construction of Bagana Bridge across River Benue under the Public Private Participation (PPP) Scheme is to create the shortest route between the Northern and Southern Regions of Nigeria, thereby reducing substantial travel time.
It is expected that the project will generate sustainable economic growth, promote culture and tourism, cultural integration and open up the area for accelerated development.
In promoting eco-tourism and culture, at the two ends of the bridge, i.e. Kogi and Nassarawa States, two enterprise villages would be developed, which encapsulate an area having a minimum length which is the community link roads and a breadth of about 15 km on either side of River Benue from Oweto/Loko towards Lokoja end.
The enterprise villages will provide facilities such as filling station, shopping mall, eateries/restaurants, motels and recreation parks. It will also serve as a tourist attraction by the virtue of the beach resort on the riversides of the enterprise villages. It is envisaged that a detailed spatial Master Plan for the two villages will be prepared in due course
The Project breakdown includes:
- The Construction of a 1.350 Km long twin-deck dual CarriageWay Bridge separated by 2.0 M wide gap; and 1.0M wide walk-way with barriers located on both sides of the outer edges of the Bridge.
- The Construction of a 2.5 Km Dual Carriageway Approach on either side of the Bridge.
- The Construction of a 30-Km Community-Link road from Bagana to Oweto.
- The Construction of 30-Km Community-Link road from Guto to Loko.
- Provision of ‘non-stop’ Electronic Toll Gates/Plazas.
- Development of 2 (two) Eco-tourism Enterprise Villages (EEV), one located at either side of the Bridge (i.e. one in Nassarawa State and the other in Kogi State). The EEVs are to have Strategic Business Ventures (SBV) which include but are not limited to the following:
- Tourist Beach Resorts;
- Parking lots, including recreation parks and conveniences;
- Kiosks and shopping malls for purchasing toll-credits, broad-band subscriptions and Eco-tourist items;
- Mega fuel stations with eateries;
- Medical Clinics, with ambulatory facilities, and
- Provision for Law Enforcement Agencies (Police Posts, etc).