Why 2nd Niger Bridge is delayed – Fashola sings

As part of activities to mark his three years in office, the Minister of Power, Works & Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola said the federal government is presently repairing 53 critical roads across the country before the Christmas.

The Minister also attributed the delay behind the slow
pace of work on the N206billion 2nd Niger Bride by Julius Berger Nigeria. He
said the depth of water in the river was not what the contractor could contain,
adding that the water level cannot be above 15 feet deep for them to work.

 “During peak
raining season it slows down their work because really you need divers to go
under this is what it takes to build a bridge. So at the height of that raining
season when there was flooding, work will slow down.”

 They can work
only about 15 meters depth of the River Niger Bridge, with the massive flooding
that we have now it must be about 30 meters. So if you are doing 30 meters of
water that is height of a 10 Storey building so they need to wait for it to
come down. According to him, “As the raining season ends you will see more
activities there. Construction is not subject only to money, materials, and
transportation it is also subject to weather.”

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Fashola at a press briefing in Abuja Monday said the
federal government is working round the clock to ensure that Nigerians not only
see but feel the current administration’s provision of the necessary
infrastructure including roads, power and housing. “The Ministry staff have
identified 53 critical roads requiring intervention while construction is going
on in order to move traffic and we will be working with our contractors to
provide relief gangs.”

 He also said
his Ministry is collaborating with the Federal Road maintenance Agency, FERMA,
and the Federal Road safety Corps, FRSC, to make sure that this year’s yuletide
season is traffic free and smooth roads The Minister, however, added that 9
camps and 18 health zones would be mounted on major highways while he had
ordered that no directors in the Ministry of Works is allowed to travel or go on
leave before and during the yuletide season. “We are also deploying the Zonal
Directors to their zones of responsibility until this period of peak traffic
subsides.” He said President Muhammadu Buhari has since inception of office
increased budget of the Ministry’s mandate from N18.1billion in 2015 to
N394billion in 2018.

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“This recovery is the result of an expansive
infrastructure spending that saw works budget grow from N18.132billion in 2015
to N394billion in 2018” Difficult or abandoned projects like the 2nd Niger
Bridge; Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Bodo-Bonny Bridge have been brought
back to life Sections of Ilorin-Jebba, Sokoto to Jega, Sokoto-Ilesa have been
completed while progress of works continues nationwide from Jada to Mayo belwa,
Enugu to Port Harcourt, Lagos to Abuja ,Kano to Maiduguri, Abuja –Okene, Lokoja
to Abuja, Kano to Maiduguri, Abuja to Kaduna, Kano to mentions a few.

“Apart from recovered construction jobs and growth in
construction sector of the economy, the feedback from road users is that the
journey times are reducing on the completed roads.” We acknowledge that work is
not finished but as long as we remain able to finance the projects, l have no
doubt that it will get better.

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 “Our
intervention on roads, does not stop on interstate highways, it has also
entered 14 federal Universities where unattended roads are now receiving
attention in University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Federal University of Oye, Ekiti;
University of Benin; Federal University, Lafia; Fed University, Otuoke,
Bayelsa; Bayero University, Kano; Fed University of Technology, Owerri;
University of Maiduguri; Federal University, Lokoja; Fed Polytechnic, Bauchi;
Federal University Gashua; Kaduna Polytechnic; Fed. College of Education,
Katsina and University College, Ibadan, he said.” While he added the Loko-Oweto
bridge is almost completed, Fashola stated that the damaged Tatabu bridge
linnikin Ilorin and Jebba has been reconstructed and the Tamburawa bridge in
Kano, the Isaac Boro bridge in Rivers, Eko bridge in Lagos and the Old Niger
bridge that links Anambra and Delta are receiving regular maintenance attention.