Nigeria: Buhari Chief of Staff announces date of commissioning of 2nd bridge over Niger

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Chief of Staff Mr. Gambari led other federal officials to inspect the ongoing construction of the bridge.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief of staff, Ibrahim Gambari, said the second bridge over the Niger will be completed in October 2022.

Mr Gambari revealed it on Tuesday when he led Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing, Babajide Fashola, and his counterpart of Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige, to inspect the ongoing construction of the 1 .6 km.

The delegation was received by representatives of the governments of Anambra and delta states.

“We are very impressed with the work that has been done so far,” Gambari said.

“The bridge connections will be completed around the second or third week of April and commissioning is expected to take place around October this year,” he said.

The chief of staff said the government was prioritizing the need to deliver a quality project that would “last for decades” as well as addressing safety and environmental concerns.

Mr Gambari, a professor of international relations, has dismissed claims that Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has committed huge funds to the project as false.

“It was only 10 billion naira that was made available by the previous administration. And if you know how much the total cost of this project is, we are talking about at least 400 billion naira,” he said. he declares.

He said the initial fund committed by the previous administration was used for the architectural drawing of the project and the payment of compensations to residents whose properties were destroyed during the project.

The Chief of Staff expressed confidence that the project, when completed, would boost the country’s economy and also reduce pressure on the First Niger Bridge.

Also speaking, Public Works Minister Mr Fashola, whose ministry is overseeing the project, said there would be power outages around the bridgehead for two weeks in April to allow the company to transmission of electricity to “move and reinstall” the transmission lines to allow the realization of the ring roads connecting the bridge from all the ways.

“No one will be permanently relocated. We will appeal to residents’ understanding at this time,” he said.

On whether the Nigerian government would introduce tolling at the bridgehead, Fashola said that although the Federal Executive Council had approved tolling of 12 highways in the country, such a decision had not yet been made. taken for the second Niger bridge.

Lars Richter, managing director of Julius Berger Nigeria Limited, the company responsible for the project, said the company had deployed special technology to deal with the marshy nature of the area to ensure that construction work progressed unhindered.

Mr Richter said the project had reached 93% completion, ensuring it would be ready for commissioning in October.

Construction of the new bridge began on September 1, 2018.

The bridge stretches from Asaba to Delta State in Ozubulu, Ogbaru and other communities in Anambra State.

The first Niger bridge, connecting Onitsha and Asaba, was completed in 1965 and built by the French construction company Dumez.

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