2nd Niger Bridge’ll be delivered before May 2023 — FG
The Federal Government, yesterday, reiterated the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to complete the 2nd Niger Bridge before leaving office on May 29, 2023.
This came as FG said that reports from commuters using the East-bound axis of the new bridge were very positive as motorists are having smooth drive across the bridge since it was opened a week ago.
Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, while fielding questions from State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by President Buhari, at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, said job on the multi-billion naira new bridge was almost complete but for the disruption of work occasioned by the sit-at-home order being observed by the people in the South East end of the bridge.
He explained that the sit-at-home being observed on Mondays is causing delay on the project as the contractors have lost many man hours, adding that those lost days were responsible for the delay in the completion of the project.
He said that the remaining work in both the Obosi and Asaba sides of the bridge were progressing well, pointing out that the project despite the delay would be completed and commissioned before the end of the present administration on May 29, 2023.
According to him, “I am certain that the 2nd Niger Bridge will be completed and commissioned before the end of this administration. The work remaining to be done on the main bridge is just road markings, fixing of signs and fittings. It is completed if I may say, hence, it is being put to temporary use now.
“From the Obosi side in the Eastern part, work is on-going on the adjoining roads and would have been completed if not for the sit-at-home order on Mondays which has slowed the pace of work.
“Also, from the Asaba end of the bridge, you can see the stockpiling of sand and because it’s a marshy area, after sand-filling, you allow the land to dry up. So, we are doing the pre-fabricated stockpiling and soon the works will be completed.”
Responding to a question on the dredging of the Calabar Port, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo blamed litigation for stalling the project but announced that President Buhari had directed his ministry and that of the Justice to see to it that the issues are resolved amicably.
He said: “By way of background, I will like to state that the Calabar channel management is part and parcel of the other channel managements that had existed between the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and its joint venture partners, namely the Lagos Channel Management, the Port Harcourt Bonny Channel Management, otherwise called BCCI, Bonny Channel Company Limited and the JV with the Niger Global in respect to Calabar Channel.
“Now, you are aware that of the three, NPA had encountered difficulties with the JV partnership, with respect to the Calabar channel dredging. This has been as a result of several litigations from both sides, about the Nigerian Ports Authority but mainly the joint venture partners, Niger Global.
“However, following presidential intervention, the Ministry of Transportation and the Federal Ministry of Justice have been directed to put in everything they can to resolve all outstanding court cases with a view to having a full resumption of this very laudable projects. This we are in the process of doing and should be concluding very soon.”