Nigeria Set to Commission 2nd Niger Bridge in October

Nigeria Set to Commission 2nd Niger Bridge in October.(News Central TV)

In what appears as a pre-commissioning event, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, has declared that the second Niger Bridge will be completed in October 2022.

Gambari, Tuesday led a team of senior government officials to inspect the progress of work on the 1.6 km second Niger Bridge. The bridge is primed to link major cities in the Southeast and Southsouth with the rest of the country.

The bridge, which was inherited from the previous administration in the country, appears to be a signature project, which the Buhari administration is anxiously waiting to deliver and make a major statement as a demonstration of its commitment and political will in delivering within a space of three years.

Gambari, a former UN Undersecretary, and professor of international relations described claims that the previous administration committed huge funds to the project as untrue. He added that the administration was satisfied the project would finally be delivered in October.

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“It was only N10 billion that was made available by the previous administration. And if you know how much is the total cost of this project, we are talking at least N400 billion,” he said.

After being led on inspection of the ambitious project by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, the Chief of Staff to the President added that the project was being funded 100 percent by the Nigerian government.

On his part, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, announced that there would be power disruption around the bridge head for two weeks in April this year to enable the Transmission Company of Nigeria to relocate and realign the transmission lines to make way for the completion of the ring roads linking the bridge from all routes.

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The minister also announced that with the completion of concrete work on the bridge, making it possible for a walk from the beginning to the end of the 1.6 kilometres stretch, the minor alignments on the structure would be wrapped up in April.

The minister said that although there is a Federal Executive Council approval for the tolling of 12 highways in the country, the decision on tolling the 2nd Niger Bridge head was yet to be made by the federal government.

The presidential entourage included the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige and the Managing Director of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, Dr. Uche Orji. The Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Limited, Lars Richter, disclosed that the level of work on the bridge, which commenced fully in 2018, had reached 93 percent completion.

Richter added that despite the difficult terrain where the bridge is situated, the company deployed a special technology to stabilise the ground for the construction work to progress in earnest and provide environmental safety for all the communities around the area.

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When completed, the bridge would reduce the stress on the existing Niger Bridge, improve traffic flow, improve safety, security and create opportunities for the host communities as well socio-economic impact to Nigeria.

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