Yuletide: FG To Open 2nd Niger Bridge For One Month

A file photo of the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, briefs State House correspondents in Abuja at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting which held on November 4, 2020.

 

The Federal Government has disclosed that the Second Niger Bridge will only be open to traffic from December 15, 2022, to January 15, 2023.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), made this known while answering questions from journalists in Abuja on Thursday.

The minister said the Federal Government is taking the measure to relieve pressure from the bridge currently used for the Christmas festivities.

He said that even though the construction of the bridge has been completed, work is still ongoing on the road linking the bridge to the major highway.

Fashola said, “We have completed work on the bridge, so if you go there now you can walk from one end of the bridge to the other or drive from one end of the bridge to the other but the connecting road that links that bridge to the main highway, is what we want to finish.

“What delayed us is rain and the stop work orders on Mondays in that part of the country.

“The President approved that since the bridge is finished that we should create a access road so that during Christmas you can begin to experience what it would feel like plying the bridge.

“It would be open for traffic going from the West to the East from the 15th December, 2022 to 15th January 2023.

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“Let me be clear again: we haven’t finished construction work but we would open it for people to use to relive the pressure from the one bridge, it wouldn’t be available for heavy duty trucks, it would only be small vehicles for now until we finish our work.

“On the 15th January we would reverse that movement for those coming from the east to the west. We have told all the contractors that they shouldn’t open anymore sections for construction i.e. there shouldn’t be any barrier on the roads this season.”

 

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway To Be Completed This Year – Fashola

 

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to delivering infrastructural projects to Nigerians, saying the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project will be delivered before December 25, 2022.

Fashola stated this during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, where he commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts in delivering the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.

When asked when the project will be completed, the Minister said the Federal Government plans to deliver the project before Christmas.

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“People used to do a one-week trip for a whole day so that is progress. We plan to finish this year,” the minister said.

Fashola however said that the government is waiting for the Oyo State Government to play its role to aid the speedy completion of the project.

“It is less than two hours now to go to Ibadan, you can do Ibadan and come back twice a day now and we haven’t finished. We don’t want to finish and the road is open again.

If you see, the lane marking is already going on, the road furniture is simultaneously being installed road marking is going on and we are waiting for Oyo State. Governor Makinde and I will resolve that pretty soon,” he stated.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics on July 24, 2022.

Second Niger Bridge

The Minister also unveiled the government’s plan toward ending the Second Niger Bridge project in the South-Eastern part of the country.

Fashola said the current administration also plans to open the bridge before Christmas, despite the challenges facing the project.

According to Fashola, he has directed the contractor to see that the project is delivered before the deadline, adding that the main bridge deck has been completed.

“We are planning also before Christmas to open that to the public for use because that is when there is a large movement.

“Hopefully, by Christmas, it will be opened. That was the last meeting I had with the contractor about three weeks ago.”

Bashir Ahmed Says 2nd Niger Bridge Will Be Named After Buhari, Sparks debate

A photo combination of President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Goodluck Jonathan.

 

Bashir Ahmad on Thursday said the Second Niger Bridge is named after President Muhammadu Buhari, and not his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, sparking debates on social media. 

Taking to Twitter, the Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, shared a video of the 1.6km bridge, describing it as a major connection point between two economically vital regions in Nigeria.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Muhammadu Buhari Bridge (MBB), a 1.6KM Bridge that will be a major connection point between two economically vital regions in Nigeria,” he tweeted.

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The tweet, however, didn’t go down well with some users as one, @Arizona_CF, said, “The name is 2nd Niger bridge. Any other name doesn’t stand a chance.”

Another user, @Greenaetion also said, “It is not Muhammadu Buhari Bridge and it can never be. It wasn’t Buhari who initiated the project nor did he use his salary to construct the Bridge. That’s 2nd Niger Bridge or Southern Link Bridge.”

In defence of his principal, Ahmad responded saying, “So, can we call it Goodluck Jonathan Bridge for sketching the bridge? The bridge is to be called ‘Muhammadu Buhari Bridge’, read the name again and let it sink in your head.”

The Second Niger Bridge is being constructed to ease the burden on the Niger Bridge which links Onitsha and Asaba.

How FG Is Ensuring Critical Projects Won’t Suffer From Lack Of Funds – Minister

The Federal Government remains focused on its plans and has taken steps to ensure that critical projects such as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the 2nd Niger Bridge do not suffer from lack of funds.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said this on Friday when he visited the Headquarters of Channels Television in Lagos.

“The good news is that we put together the Presidential Infrastructure Fund which is being managed by the Sovereign Investment Authority with a seed fund of $1.3 billion to ensure that five critical projects will not suffer from funding,” he said.

“They are the East-West Road, the 2nd Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Mambila Hydroelectric Power and the Abuja-Kano Road.”

Beyond the critical projects, the minister believes the Federal Government deserves credit for what it is doing in terms of infrastructure and how it approached projects started by previous administrations.

“The important thing is for the government to remain focused and have a blueprint. And it is to the credit of this administration that we did not abandon any project that we inherited,” he said.

“Most of the commissioning that we are doing today are projects that we met and adopted, some at 16 percent completion, some at 20 percent completion.”

Some of the projects such as the Abuja-Kaduna rail have been completed and others are being worked on.

The Minister recently led a team to inspect ongoing projects in parts of the country and he is pleased with the progress being made.

He said, “I was at Ilorin, Jebba, Mokwa road about three weeks ago. Those who are familiar with that road will tell you that, a year or two ago, it will take you four days, not hours, to travel from Ilorin to Jebba. Today, the 93 kilometre road has been completed and it takes you just under two hours to travel from Ilorin to Jebba and to Mokwa.

“I went with my team to visit the South-East and the South-South and the trip took us from Enugu to Onitsha where we went to inspect the 2nd Niger Bridge and the media saw that progress has been made since we came.

“Before we came in, only N200 million had been paid for that project. As of today, over N4.6 billion has been paid for that project.”

The second leg of the minister’s trip (inspecting projects) took him to the road from Enugu through Umuahia to Aba and from Aba to Port Harcourt.

“It is a 240 kilometre Road; and, averagely, we’ve been able to achieve about 38 to 40 percent completion,” he said, adding that funds secured by the government through the issuance of bonds would also be vital to the execution of projects.

“We secured a Sukuk bond of N100bn and we divided into six equal parts for each of the geopolitical zones to fund 25 critical roads and bridges in each zone.

“So, the government remains determined and focused on providing infrastructure, the government remains focused on providing power and our social investment programmes tries to ensure that no one is left behind.”