Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen
By Emeka Osondu
The Federal Government Friday disclosed that all was set for it to commence work on the long expected second Niger Bridge linking the South East and the rest of the country.
Addressing a mammoth crowd at a stakeholders meeting held at the palace of the Obi of Onitsha, HRM, Igwe Alfred Achebe that, the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen who came with a technical team that comprised mostly civil servants and building experts, said the time had come for serious action on the second Niger Bridge.
The Minister later met with Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State and briefed him on efforts to bring the project on stream as the federal government has awarded the contract to Julius Berger.
He said Governor Obi's efforts towards the project contributed a lot in keeping it alive and recalled the many letters and visits by the Governor to the President, himself and relevant stakeholders pleading and requesting for the commencement of the project.
"Even at our last event at Transcorp Hotel Abuja, Gov. Obi was there and made strong point on the imperative of commencing the bridge now", the Minister said.
According to him, the project would be completed before the expiration of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in 2015 as part of efforts to deliver on the campaign promises of the present government.
The Minister further disclosed that the need for the completion of the second bridge across the River Niger was apt to ease transportation problems as well as in line with the fulfilment of President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign promises.
Onolememen who traced the history of second Niger Bridge said it was Governor Obi’s efforts that enlivened the project otherwise, it would have been a closed chapter, adding that the project will span from Asaba to Ozubulu and Ogbaru areas.
He had also told Uduaghan that the 40 kilometer approach to the bridge has been designed to take traffic away from the center of Onitsha that use to create gridlock for travellers and assured that it will be delivered before the end of 2015.
He said he was in Onitsha to acquaint Anambrarians with the latest development about the Bridge and that the project was designed in such a way that there would be a ring road from Asaba to Onitsha to ease traffic challenges.
In his contribution, Governor Peter Obi described the project as very gigantic and assured the Federal Government that the state government would provide adequate security and other necessary sacrifices that will enhance effective completion of the project.