Minister Blames IPOB for Delay in Completion of the Second Niger Bridge project

The Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola has said the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra stay at home order has had a significant impact on the apparent delay in the completion of the Second Niger Bridge project.

Fashola stated this on Wednesday, during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

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.”

He claims that although Saturdays are work days for construction workers, a 52-day loss in productivity cannot be quickly made up for.

He claims that even if construction employees are required to work on Saturdays, a 52-day loss in productivity cannot be quickly made up for.

The minister went on to say that other difficulties, such as moving transmission cables that connected the East and West over the Niger River, contributed to the days lost and added to the problem that prevented the early completion of the bridge within the originally specified time frame.

Speaking about completing the final 4 km of the road in just four months, Mr. Fashola noted that because the construction is taking place in a wetland, there is a significant requirement for dredging and sand filling, a process that he claims cannot be accelerated.

He stressed that the utilization of Prefabricated Vertical Drains, which hasten settlement and drainage so that construction workers may begin working more quickly than would typically have been anticipated, is the reason the ministry and its contractors have made remarkable progress on the road thus far.

The minister did, however, guarantee that the Second-Niger Bridge would be delivered by the new target date of April or May 2023, adding that the bridge will unavoidably be tolled to ensure that it is maintained to serve Nigerians for many years.

Earlier this year, the Minister has promised that the Second Niger Bridge (now named Muhammadu Buhari Bridge) and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway would be completed before he year runs out.

Fashola also stated that the initial February completion date projection for the Second Niger Bridge failed due to several factors such as the COVID-19 lockdown, #EndSARS protests, and the sit-at-home orders by the Indigenous People of Biafra which delayed works on the Anambra side of the bridge.

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