The Federal Government of Nigeria has restated its commitment to the delivery of enduring road infrastructure that will conform with the world best standard and add value to the economic recovery action plan of the Renewed Hope administration of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Sen. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR.
This was contained in the message of the Hon. Minister of Works, His Excellency Sen. Engr. Nweze David Umahi,CON when he received the handover of the completed 2nd Niger Bridge project and ancillary facilities from the contractor that handled the project, Messr Julius Berger Nigeria (JBN) Plc this Sunday, the 3rd day of December 2023 at the 2nd Niger Bridge toll station
“We are here to take over the completed works of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc on the 2nd Niger Bridge and some access roads. We are satisfied with the works done and which project circle was completed under the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. We thank the immediate past administration of President Mohammadu Buhari for doing quite a lot to bring this project to fruition and of course my prodecesor, His Excellency Babatunde Raji Fashola, CON, SAN who was the Hon. Minister of Works that handled this project. The job is impeccably beautiful and well completed”
The Hon. Minister stated that in line with the new innovations of Mr President on road infrastructure, his Ministry would work to ensure the installation of solar powered light on the length of the completed project, ensure that the two interchanges of the bridges are completed, acquire more land through the State Government so as to have service stations and ensure security on the road through the installation of CCTV cameras. And the Ministry also plans to concession the project through the HDMI programme.
“We have the light issue and we shall put our heads together on how to have light permanently along the completed road especially at night and we have agreed on solar solution. The road project will be fully completed when we have completed the two interchanges. One is taking road users off from Asaba town so that if you are coming to this bridge, you don’t have to go through Asaba town to encounter vehicular traffic while the other one is to take road users off Onitsha town to avoid traffic, and it is when this is done that the entire job will be said to have been fully completed. Julius Berger and RCC have been respectively proposed to handle the jobs.”
“However, If we get an investor who is prepared to fund the two interchanges, we shall concession the two projects to such investor under our HDMI programme, and we are going to acquire more land here so we can establish service stations and we get the private sector to build hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, fillings stations and other facilities for public use as we see in Western world” “And of course we are going to ensure security surveillance along the road through the installation of CCTV cameras and deployment of security personnel so that within this axis you can have access to security within the shortest possible time”
The Hon. Minister also said that although Federal Government is taking over the completed 2nd Niger Bridge, the contractor shall still be liable within the defect liability period and so if anything goes wrong in the completed job, the contractor will be called upon to fix it. He added that the toll would be activated the moment the two interchanges are fixed.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, the Director Bridge Design and Construction, Federal Ministry of Works Engr. Obioha thanked the Federal Government for working assiduously to ensure that the project was completed. He noted that the Ministry worked well with the contractor to ensure the project was completed on record time and hoped that the public would compliment this Federal Government’s efforts by abiding by the rules of the road and helping to ensure the safety and protection of the installations along the road.
On his own part, the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria ( JBN) Plc, Dr Las Ritcher said the bridge was commissioned by the immediate past administration but there was need for a technical handover to the Federal Ministry of Works, hence the handover ceremony. He expressed hope that the Federal Ministry of Works under Sen. Umahi who is known for his penchant for quality delivery of jobs would be satisfied with the quality of job done “He has seen what Julius Berger had delivered to the highest quality.I think he is satisfied and from tomorrow we can say it is not our project; it is now the project of the Federal Ministry of Works. I am delighted to handover to the client and that he can run that road, including the toll station”.
It is to be noted that the contract awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria ( JBN) Plc is for the construction of 2nd Niger Bridge linking Anambra and Delta States, Contract No. 6475 and construction of access road from existing Benin- Asaba Expressway to approach link road to 2nd Niger Bridge,Contract No 7919.
Meanwhile the Hon. Minister of Works had on the same Sunday, 3rd December 2023 paid an inspection visit to the project site of CGG Nig. Ltd on the contract for the Rehabilitation of Enugu- Port Harcourt Expressway Section 111: Enugu- Lokpanta 61.15 kn road.
The Hon. Minister also visited the collapsed New Artisan bridge along NNPC Mega Fillings Station Enugu- PH Expressway, Enugu State. Works in those locations are ongoing and are expected to be delivered on record time