* Obiano, Okowa upbeat about early completion
The federal government has restated its commitment to the completion of the Second Niger Bridge, irrespective of challenges, stating that the 2022 delivery date for the project remained sacrosanct.
This is coming as the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, and his Delta State counterpart, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, have expressed their satisfactions with the pace of work on the project.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, gave the federal government’s assurance in Asaba, Delta State capital, during his inspection visit to the project and town hall meeting with the project’s stakeholders at the weekend.
According to Fashola, “2022 remains the project delivery date. That is the federal government’s commitment on the N414billion bridge investment by the government. Of this amount, roads 2a and 2b alone is costing the government N208 billion.”
The minister said the contractor of the project “needs about 4million cubic meters of sand, a lot of supplies of cement, 19 million litres of diesel, including local labour to deliver the project.”
He added that all of that were already spinning off multiplier economic and commercial activities within the host communities and states.
On compensation to the communities in the project area, Fashola said the state governments were in the best position to liaise with communities on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
In their remarks, Anambra State Governor, Obiano, and his Delta State counterpart, Okowa, have expressed their satisfaction with the pace of work on the project.
According to Obiano “COVID-19 or no COVID-19, we can all see that the president, the honourable minister and his team at the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing as well as the contractor, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, have remained committed to the work to deliver the Second Niger Bridge.”
On his part, Okowa, who was represented at the occasion by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Chinedu Ebie, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, for “the massive project and the good progress achieved so far on site as we look forward to the successful commissioning in 2022.”
The Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria, Mr. Lars Richter, explained the need for the Second Niger Bridge arose due to population growth in the area, the high rate of urbanisation and the geometric increase in traffic volumes over the years.