Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, has announced a new target date for the completion of the ongoing Second Niger Bridge in the south-eastern part of the country.
Fashola, announced the new date during a Channels Television’s interview, Sunrise Daily, on Wednesday.
The minister, however, blamed the slow work on the bridge on the sit-at-home order initiated by the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The Nigerian government had earlier shifted the completion date for the multi-billion naira bridge, linking Delta and Anambra States, from the earlier scheduled date of October, 2022 to the first quarter of 2024.
The new date was apparently meant to allow the Buhari-led administration take the honour of completing and commissioning the work it had started.
Fashola said while construction workers work on Saturdays, a 52-day loss cannot easily be made up for in construction work.
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“These dates keep shifting and people must remember that on the eastern side, our contractors have not been able to work on Mondays for almost two years and that has affected the completion date”, Fashola said.
The minister however promised that the new target date to deliver a perfectly completed Second-Niger Bridge will be April/May 2023.
He added that the bridge would be inevitably tolled to ensure that it is maintained to serve Nigerians for a number of years.
The Nigerian government had few days ago opened the bridge to ease transportation ahead of the Yuletide and New Year celebrations.
Fashola, however, noted that it would be closed to traffic on January 15, 2023.
By Ambali Abdulkabeer