The Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Gambari, has said that the second Niger Bridge will be commissioned in October 2022.
He made this known on Tuesday when he led Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing, Babajide Fashola, and his Labour and Employment counterpart, Chris Ngige, to assess the construction of the 1.6km bridge.
“We are very impressed with the work that has been done so far.
“The bridge links will be completed around the second or third week of April and the commissioning is projected to be around October this year,” Gambari said.
Gambari said the government wants to deliver a quality project that “would last for decades” as well as address safety and environmental concern.
He also downplayed the claims that the Goodluck Jonathan’s government committed huge funds to the project.
‘’It was only N10 billion that was made available by the previous administration. And if you know how much is the total cost of this project, we are talking at least N400 billion,” he said.
He further said the initial fund committed by the past regime was used for architectural drawing of the project and payment of compensations to people whose properties were destroyed in the course of the project.
Gambari who stressed that the project would strengthen the economy of the country, also said pressure will be reduced on the first Niger bridge when the new bridge is completed.
In his comment, the Minister of Works, Mr Fashola, said there would be power disruption around the bridge head for two weeks in April as to enable the power transmission company to “relocate and re-install” the transmission lines to allow the completion of the ring roads connecting the bridge from all routes.
“Nobody will be permanently dislocated. We will appeal for residents’ understanding at the time,” he said.
Fielding question on whether Nigerian government would introduce a toll gate at the Bridge head, Mr Fashola explained that Federal Executive Council had ratified the tolling of 12 highways in the country, such a decision was yet to be taken for the second Niger bridge.