Second Niger Bridge: I have Kept My Campaign Promise-Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan has commended the people of the South-East and
South-South zones for their patience over delays in the construction of
the 2nd Niger Bridge.
“My sincere promise during my campaign is today made a reality to the good
people of the South-East and South-South,'' Jonathan said before
performing the groundbreaking of the bridge.
The president performed the ceremony in Atani, near Onitsha, Anambra on
The dual carriageway bridge, designed to be 1,590m long, is scheduled to
be completed in four years by Messrs Julius Berger Construction Company.
Jonathan said the Federal Government was building two important bridges
across the two great Rivers in the country – Niger and Benue –for the
benefit of Nigerians.
“The construction of the second bridge across River Benue is going on
smoothly and this one would follow suit immediately from now.
“This bridge, when completed, would alleviate the movement difficulties of
our people and improve commerce and trade of our people, especially
congestion witnessed during festive seasons.
“It will not only serve the people of these areas but all Nigerians and
the West African sub-region.''
Jonathan added that “the bridge would be key to the economic development
of the South-East and South-South zones.''
He said the Federal Government had committed 25 per cent of the total cost
of the bridge and that other funding for the project would come in due
Jonathan urged the governors of Anambra and Delta through which the bridge
would pass, to provide a favourable environment for the construction to
ensure its timely completion.
“This bridge and the National Conference, which would be inaugurated by
next week, Monday, in Abuja, are two vital components of our national
cohesion and unity,'' he said.
Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia, on behalf of the South-East Governors Forum,
thanked God for the president for his vision of always thinking of the
welfare and wellbeing of Nigerian.
“Democracy is all about the people; since you have been our president,
your major concern is about the people's welfare.
“And for this and other things you have done for the South-East, we have
to pay you back,'' he said.
Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta said that the wish of the South-South
people was that Mr President would also inaugurate the bridge in the next
Uduaghan promised the safety of the workers and equipment of the
Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra thanked the president for a promise fulfilled as
well as the enviable status accorded Ndi-Igbo.
“Mr President, you have made us proud as Ndi-Igbo and you have made us to
be part of the country as well as given a fitting state burial to Chief
“And we would not fail to thank you for removing the Obi-and-Sons
Contractor, who was earlier awarded this project to a competent
contractor, who we can trust to do a good job and having the manpower and
equipment needed to deliver at set schedule and quality,'' he noted.
The Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolemenen, said that the ministry in 2013
commenced phase I of the project, including survey, morphodynamics study
and soil investigation.
Onolemenen said the construction of the bridge would cost N117.8 billion,
while government was executing the project under the
Public-Private-Partnership arrangement for a concession period of 25
“Let me at this juncture appreciate the Co-ordinating Minister for the
Economy and Honourable Minister of Finance for her strong support in this
project and for facilitating the World Bank support in the proposed
construction of the two by-passes,'' he said.
The Managing Director of Julius Berger, Mr. Wolfgang Goetsch, said the
company was happy to be part of “this historic project'' and part of the
development of the country within its over 45 years operation in Nigeria.
Gash promised that the company would meet the project's schedule and
quality; adding: “This bridge is a legacy and we look forward for its
early commissioning by Mr President.'' (NAN)