Second Niger Bridge begins operations
CITIZENS COMPASS – ROAD users in the South Eastern part of Nigeria will now enjoy smooth rides as the President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, May 2023, inaugurated the 1.6km Second Niger Bridge, linking Asaba, Delta State to Onitsha, Anambra State and other South-Eastern areas.
The inauguration was done via zoom.
The President in his opening remark, said the bridge was one of the critical infrastructure delivered by his administration to fight poverty, promote economic growth and progress for the people.
According to him, “Getting out of poverty is much more difficult without infrastructure investment. This reflects our administration’s emphasis on the well-being of the people.
“The Second Niger Bridge is now a reality, and it will provide business efficiency and service in a timely manner. It is my distinct honour to open the bridge to the public. This is an example of the long-term change that we promised.
Those crossing the old Niger bridge will no longer experience gridlock as it will help to improve the socio-economic activities of the South-East.
“In eight years, I am proud to say that we have developed Nigeria stock of infrastructure of Gross Domestic Products from about 20 per cent to over 40 per cent and that is not a small undertaking.”
On his part, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who also joined the event via zoom, described the bridge’s unveiling as a story of development.
Fashola said, “After consultation with the state governors and other critical stakeholders, we decided to name the bridge Muhammadu Buhari Bridge.”
However, Buhari said he was not consulted before the bridge was named after him.
But Fashola said, “The Muhammadu Buhari Second Niger Bridge is a story about how Buhari’s policies meet people where they are, how travel time has been reduced by half, and how multi-dimensional poverty has been pushed back.
” This is a clear case of how infrastructure supports the people. It will take only a few minutes to cross the bridge of approximately 1.5km, travel time is reduced by 50 per cent. By this bridge, various properties in the area have appreciated.”
his remarks, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said the the bridge would help boost the nation’s economy and also help the ease of doing business between Delta and Anambra states.
Okowa, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Ovie Agas, said the bridge would create jobs and enhance economic growth within the two states.
In his remarks, Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, commended Buhari for keeping to his campaign promises of completing and delivering the bridge to the people of the South-East.
Soludo said, “I am personally overjoyed. Today is a day of joy, we have come to express our gratitude. History is being made today, the people of the South-East have agitated, we have complained on about five key infrastructure projects.
“These five key projects, which were supposed to be game-changers to the economy of the South-East, are the dredging of the River Niger, the second happens to be the Second Niger Bridge, the third is the expressway that will lead from Anambra directly to Lokoja; the fourth is the gas pipeline and the fifth obviously is the railway line.
“Of these five projects, it is our pleasure that we have come to tick good to one of them and a major one at that, and that is the Second Niger Bridge.”
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, who represented Buhari physically at the event, said, “Today is a great day for us. It is a day we have come together to rejoice. It is a promise given and a promise kept. This bridge signifies the major handshake between the West, East and the North.
“Successive governments have come and gone since 1965 that this Second Niger Bridge was first mooted, but Buhari’s administration has deemed it fit to complete the bridge. In every project there must be a hero and a hero must be named after every project and the hero of this project is President Buhari.”