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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Second Niger Bridge Named After Buhari

From Paul Osuyi, shallow leaves

The second bridge in Niger, which was commissioned on Tuesday and handed over to Delta and Anambra states, was named after President Muhammadu Buhari.

The contract for the construction of the 1.6 km long bridge amounted to N206,151,693,014.87 and was awarded in 2018 following a groundbreaking ceremony on 10 March 2014.

President Muhammadu Buhari nearly commissioned the star project, along with six other projects for the Aso Rock council hall in Abuja.

Other projects initiated include Lokoja-Oweto Bridge in Nasarawa/Benue State; Ikom Bridge in Cross River State; Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Road; Gusau (Zamfara State), Awka Anambra State) and the Federal Secretariat of Yenogoa (Bayelsa State).

Labor and Employment Secretary Chris Ngige unveiled the plague and cut the ceremonial tape on behalf of the President during a physical ceremony at Bridgehead in the Asaba Bridgehead toll plaza district in Delta.

The ceremony was attended by the Governors of Anambra and Imo States, Charles Soludo and Hope Uzodinma respectively; Delta Governor Ifeanyi Okowa represented by his Chief of Staff, Festus Agas; Ohaneze Ndigbo President Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; Niger Delta Dignitaries such as Lauretta Onochie, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Development Committee (NDDC).

President Buhari has actually said that infrastructure development is a key focus of his government to create wealth and alleviate poverty.

“We don’t take action on infrastructure by accident. It’s a deliberate choice by our government as a tool to end poverty, create economic growth and jobs, and create a path to prosperity for our people,” he said.

The president said he shared Nigerians’ concerns about the country’s debt situation, but noted that those debts were related to projects that were carried out with great transparency.

“As we look at the debt profile, I urge us to also look at the asset and investment profile, some of which is paid for by debt and some of which is paid for by investment income.

“In eight years, I can say with pride that we have doubled Nigeria’s infrastructure stock as a percentage of GDP from about 20% to over 40%, which is a tall order.

“The projects we are handing over today, in addition to the rail, marine and airport, gas pipeline projects that have been completed before, all symbolize the high priority our country places on achieving prosperity,” he said.

He said the Niger II Bridge has been in the works for a long time and is definitely a reality now, as the bridge of choice across the Niger River to relieve the pressure on people from the southeast to the southwest.

“This is an example of the change we are committed to; investing dividend income in tangible assets that last for generations and putting the proceeds of crime to lasting public and national use.

“Our approach to anti-corruption does not end in court. Stolen and recovered assets are used for the common good,” he stressed.

In his speech, Works and Housing Minister Babatunde Raji Fashola explained the importance of the projects, adding that the construction of infrastructure generated economic activity around them, providing a means of livelihood for the hundreds of thousands of people who work there.

“Travel times have decreased by more than 50 percent in many places we surveyed; in surveys of land values ​​where we provide infrastructure, landowners have appreciated as much as 30 percent in property values,” Fashola said.

These are some of the attempts made by the government to fight back against multidimensional poverty, the minister added.

In their respective messages of goodwill, Governors Soludo, Okowa and Uzodinma thanked the President for delivering the project, noting that it is a major economic artery between the Southeast and neighboring regions.

However, Gov. Soludo specified that the bridge is one of the top five demands of southeasterners.

According to him, other measures include dredging the Niger River to open access to the Atlantic Ocean; a highway to Lokoja to reduce travel time to the country’s capital; a gas pipeline; and a railway line, which he said will be managed by the next government. inherit.

For their part, Asaba’s Asagba, Obi (Professor) Chike Edozien and Onitsha’s Obi, Nnemeka Achebe also praised the Buhari government but stressed the need for ongoing maintenance of critical infrastructure.

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