The Nigerian Government says the funding and completion of the second Niger bridge is well planned.
Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, inspected the project in continuation of his ongoing tour of government projects across the country, and expressed satisfaction at the pace of work on the bridge.
“I am very excited because the thing about this project is that because of the alignment, people travelling on the old bridge will say nothing is going on because they cannot see it, but you have come here and you can see the amount of work that is going on, so I’m very excited,” the Minister said.
Mohammed said when completed, the bridge would ease traffic congestion on the road and also change the socio-economic landscape of the South-east and South-South geo-political zones.
He commended the enthusiasm with which the contractor, Julius Berger, was handling the project and gave the assurance that henceforth, funding would no longer be a challenge for the construction of such projects.
“I think one thing that this government has assured is that funding won’t be a problem because we have many sources of funding and I think the latest is the Presidential Infrastructural Development Fund, which is actually aimed at ensuring that no project like this suffers for lack of funding,” the Minister said.
He said having achieved tremendous success with the sub-structural work, the project would now witness rapid progress.
The Controller of Works for Anambra State, Mr. Innocent Alumona, said so far, phases 1, 2 and 3, which had to do with the foundation, have been completed, and that the contractor was currently on phase 4, which would end in July this year.
“A lot of people are saying no work is on-going on the Second Niger Bridge because they have not been opportuned to visit the site. The Government actually is not sleeping. A lot of money has been spent in the process of realizing the Second Niger Bridge, and as we go further, we will show you a lot that has been done to prove to some of us – who are still doubting that nothing is happening at the Second Niger Bridge – that a lot is ongoing,” he said.
Mr. Alumona said some 310 of the 615 piles designed for the bridge have been sunk, while massive sand-filling of the approach road has been carried out to the height of five metres.
At least 400 Nigerians are currently employed by the contractor handling the project, which is expected to be completed within the next two years.