After years of prevarication, visible signs of the 2nd Niger Bridge between Onitsha and Asaba are emerging underway as the first set of pillars have been erected in the N220 billion 47 kilometres project.
At an inspection tour of the project sites in Onitsha and Asaba on Wednesday, Managing Director of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr Uche Orji said that “from here onwards, we are fairly certain that the funding for the project would be stable.
“A lot of visible projects would be made between the next six to 12 months on the bridge side. We are very confident that most of the columns and pilings would up between June and the end of 2019. By the end of next year, we will start to see the slabs come up.
“The phase one is almost as long and wide as 3rd mainland bridge in Lagos. There is another 33 kilometres of road that will be done aside from the bridge itself as part of the project.”
He explained that following completion of early works, which started in 2014, contract for the main project was finally awarded in February 2018 while a mobilization fee of N33 billion was paid to the contractor in September.
The N33 billion was sourced from the initial $650 million released to the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) being managed by NSIA.
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Orji said the contractor has given an assurance that Nigerians will soon start to see what looks like a visible sign of the bridge.
“We are actually seeing it already because there is a lot of work that has been done.
Responding, an elated Igwe Achebe declared “it has been long coming. It took me two hours to get to Asaba airport the last time I travelled.
“The new project will take care of that and transform all of that area. It is not just the bridge that Mr President is investing in. He is investing in the transformation of the social life here in a positive way.
“It is a big thing for Nigeria. The bridge alongside other major projects and by the time the five major projects are completed, the whole country would be transformed.
“We are grateful to God and Mr President. Its been a long time coming. The desire was there but somehow, we are just realizing it now.
“On our part, we will make sure that there is peace all along the route.”
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