Gov Willie Obiano has said that peaceful coexistence will guarantee quick completion of the second Niger bridge even as he called for urgent intervention on Federal Government roads in Anambra State.
The Governor said this during a town hall meeting for project update of the construction of the main works and associated infrastructure of the bridge, held on Friday, November 20, at the Asaba axis of the project site.
Speaking at the meeting, Gov Obiano called on all the host communities to embrace peace and support the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari and the construction companies for the effective completion of the bridge.
According to him, “peace is essential for the successful completion of the project. I have discussed with President Buhari a number of times concerning the second Niger bridge and other federal roads in Anambra state and his commitment has remained unwavering”.
“I am also confident that more attention will be given to the federal roads just as I hope that construction companies working onye second Niger bridge will fulfill their corporate social responsibility, CSR, obligations to the host communities where applicable”, he added.
Confirming this, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, confirmed federal government’s readiness to continue and complete the project.
He regretted the delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and assured that work will continue on the project till it is completed and commissioned in 2022.
Fashola mentioned that the FG has earmarked N414bn for the construction of the second Niger bridge. He noted that N206bn will be spent on the bridge while N208bn will be spent on adjoining roads and associated infrastructure.
In his remarks, Governor Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, drew federal government’s attention to the dilapitating Asaba-Benin expressway. He observed that the road is a major annex to the second Niger bridge and would require rehabilitation to avoid further damage.
Dr Okowa was represented by the Secretary to the Delta State Government, Mr Chinedu Ebie.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe called on the FG and construction companies to assuage the communities affected by the construction works.
On his part, the MD of Julius Berger construction, Dr Lars Richter, noted that the bridge is 50.1% completed. “We started work here on September 1, 2018 and our target is to complete this project in February, 2022. We will work together with all stakeholders to ensure that all the host communities are compensated and treated fairly.
Earlier on, Gov Obiano took the Minister of Works, Senator Fashola on an inspection tour of Ziks Mausoleum, the final resting place of the former Governor General of Nigeria and its first President, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.
Fashola said that the inspection was at the instance of President Buhari who wanted to know the current state of the mausoleum with a view to partnering with the Anambra state government and Onitsha community to expose it to international tourism.