The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola lamented that the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) contributed immensely to the seeming delay in the completion of the Second Niger Bridge project.
Fashola disclosed this when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, December 21 2022.
He said, “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.”
According to him, while construction workers work on Saturdays, a 52-day loss cannot easily be made up for in construction work.
The minister further asserted that certain other challenges liken relocating transmission lines connecting the East to the West across the Niger River, contributed to days lost and added to the snag that affected the early completion of the bridge within the time earlier stipulated.
Speaking on finishing the last 4km stretch of the road in four months, Mr Fashola said the construction is taking place in marshland and as such, there is a great need for dredging and sand filling, a process which he says cannot be rushed.
He emphasized that the reason the ministry and its contractors have made great progress on the road so far, is because they have employed the use of Prefabricated Vertical Drains which accelerate settlement and drainage and as such, workers can start building quicker than would ordinarily have been expected.
The minister however promised that the new target date to deliver a perfectly completed Second-Niger Bridge will be April/May 2023, adding that inevitably the bridge will be tolled to ensure that it is maintained to serve Nigerians for many years.