Wednesday

Ndigbo urges FG to expedite action on second Niger Bridge

A league of Ndigbo in the south eastern part of Nigeria have called on the Federal Government to show commitment and expedite action on the construction of the second Niger Bridge to rekindle confidence in the government.

A cross section of the people made the call on Tuesday in an interview when the Ashiwaju.org visited the site of the bridge in Ogbaru near Onitsha.

A food vendor, Mrs Ijeoma Agu, said that activities at the site were last observed in December 2016 when the contracting firm, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, took some equipment away from the site.

Agu, who appealed to the government to release funds to the firm for the project, said that when completed, the project would not only ease the burden on the Niger Bridge, but would also promote economic activities in the area.

A tipper driver, Mr Samuel Aguncha, said that he and his colleagues normally drive vehicles to the site but added that no work was going on there.

“I want the government to construct the bridge to reduce traffic on the Niger Bridge; I want the government to start the project which I learnt had been approved,” Aguncha added.

Mr Isaac Nwankwo, who dredges sand along the riverbank, said that since the project was awarded, no tangible work had been done on site and urged the government to order the contractors back to site.

“What I see is that government is taking the project for granted; nothing is happening there at all and I can’t really say why,” he said.

In his reaction, Mr Edward Bosah, Controller of Works in the state, assured that work would soon resume at the site.

“The consultants have since left for South Africa, but work may resume between February and March,” Bosah said.

An official of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that the company was working hard to resume work.

“Yes, we have not worked this year, but we will soon resume as things are being normalised as we speak.

“If you come back in the next one month, you will see some activities; we have just put things in order to resume work,” the source said.

Correspondent reports that though some equipment were on site, no substantial work had been done since former President Goodluck Jonathan inaugurated the project in 2014.

The Minister of Works, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who inspected the project early in February, assured Nigerians that the Federal Government was committed to completing the 2nd Niger Bridge.

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