FG Opens Apapa-Ijora Bridge In Lagos

Apapa-Ijora bridgeThe Federal Government of Nigeria at the weekend opened the Apapa-Ijora Bridge in Lagos State to light traffic, as the emergency repair works on the bridge are almost completed.

It was shut on Monday, August 8, for emergency repair works on its failed sections and temporary coverage of the failed concrete bridge deck section.

The decision was taken after an inspection tour and a meeting with stakeholders by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola.

With consistent attention from the contracting firm, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and supervisory work by officials of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, work on the temporary coverage of the failed concrete bridge deck section was completed on Saturday including the approach to the bridge.

Also completed was the placement of height restriction gantry in order to ensure only light traffic could access the bridge.

The bridge is now open to light traffic while repair works continue on the diversions.

Motorist, who work in and around Apapa axis, could now use the Apap-Ijora bridge after it was closed for rehabilitation.

Many of them had thought that the repairs would take some time, considering the nation’s revenue base that has continued to dwindle with the drop in crude oil price.

After the initial worries about the failing concrete deck of some parts of the bridge, Mr Fashola said the construction company had carried out a reinforcement work which is capable of supporting light vehicular traffic.

He insisted that it was better for Nigerians to endure the pains that the closure had caused than for tragedy to occur.

It was danger waiting to happen and would have, in its wake, been colossal.

The reasons were not farfetched, as the bridge had over the years been subjected to daily heavy load of container bearing trucks and petroleum products tankers.

The 40-year-old bridge remained, for a very long time, the only major entry and exit from Apapa and the consequence became very evident.

After concerns were raised about the deplorable state, the Federal Government took a tough decision to shut it down for emergency rehabilitation work.

Buhari Plans Revitalisation Of Vocational Training Centres

Muhammadu Buhari on Vocational Training
President Buhari with Director and leader of Julius Berger delegation, Mr Mutiu Sunmonu and Director Mr George Marks.

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday directed some ministries to urgently prepare and present for approval and implementation, a plan of action for the speedy revitalisation and expansion of the nation’s vocational training centres.

The President issued the directive to the Federal Ministries of Works and Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

A statement by a spokesman for the President, Mr Garba Shehu, said that Mr Buhari gave the directive after a meeting with the Board of Directors of a leading construction company in Nigeria.

At the meeting, President Buhari was told that the shortage of competent construction workers and artisans had forced construction companies to bring in skilled workers from abroad.

Producers Of Skilled Workers

Observing that the practice was very detrimental to his administration’s commitment to boosting employment opportunities for young Nigerians, President Buhari pledged that his administration would move quickly to address the shortage of skilled construction workers.

The President demanded a report on the current status of existing vocational training centres established by the Federal Government.

He said that his administration would take all necessary action to rapidly reposition them as efficient producers of skilled workers for Nigeria’s building and construction industry.

President Buhari assured members of the Board of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc that his administration would act swiftly to ensure that the Building Craft Training School and Skill Improvement Centre in Lagos were fully revamped, staffed and equipped to produce more skilled electricians, brick and block layers, carpenters, painters, welders, fabricators, plumbers and other artisans.

Reaffirming his administration’s commitment to the proper education and training of Nigerian youth for the current demands of the labour market, the President said that the Federal Government would act expeditiously to remove all impediments to the fulfilment of its promise of more jobs for unemployed Nigerians.

He also assured the Julius Berger Directors led by Mr Mutiu Sunmonu that in spite of the present funding challenges, the Federal Government would continue to do everything possible to settle genuine outstanding payments due to contractors.