Reporter : ONYINYE CHIJIOBI
The Federal Government says it is committed towards completing the Second Niger Bridge Project, by February 2022.
The Minister of Works
and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola stated this in a town hall meeting on the construction of the main work and associated infrastructure of the Second Niger Bridge contract, linking Anambra and Delta states, held at Asaba end of the project.
The Second Niger bridge is an alternative facility to the current one embarked by the then President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The facility is 1.6 km long and furnished with other ancillary infrastructure, including a 10.3 km highway through Owerri interchange and a toll station, expected to be completed in the year 2022.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Fashola said that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration would ensure it completed the project as it was not only important for the economy of the South East alone but the country at large.
He noted that strategic infrastructure projects such as the bridge was critical to the administration’s economic agenda.
The Minister, who expressed optimism that the project would be delivered on schedule, explained that it would cost #414, 000,000,000.00 (four hundred and fourteen billion naira).
He appealed to communities where the project passed to show understanding with the contractor, saying that government was taking the necessary steps to resolve all compensation issues on the project.
The Managing Director of Julius Berger Construction, Dr. Lars Richter, who said the project was progressing rapidly, pledged not to compromise the standard of the work and deliver the job as aptly captured in the contract.
The Governor of Delta State, Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Chinedu Ebie, who commended the Federal Government, stressed the urgent need for government to rehabilitate some of the federal roads in the state, which he said had failed completely.
In a speech, Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, who expressed satisfaction with the standard and pace of work on the Bridge noted that the project, when completed, would not only boost the economic activities of the South-East and South-South zones but that of the entire country.
Earlier, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, and Chief Joe Oza who spoke on behalf of the communities involved, thanked the Federal Government for its commitment towards completing the project but lamented lack of access road.