ABUJA–The on going construction of a second Niger bridge may be placed on hold until the integrity of the bridge is sorted out, the Federal government said Wednesday.
Reasons ranging from the actual cost of the bridge, non issuance of the Certificate of Compliance, non compensation of the host community and non adherence to due process in the award of contract were also responsible for the stoppage.
The disclosure was made by the Director-General, DG of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC, Aminu Diko after a private meeting with president Mohammadu buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
The DG while briefing State House Correspondent stated that the bridge was one of the issue discussed in the meeting
Noting the importance of the road that linked the south east and south west, Diko however asked the people to be patient with the government.
He said: “The second Niger bridge is one of the projects that we discussed with the President. We did say yes it is in the commission for regulatory oversight. We have been discussing the transaction with the Ministry of Works. But before it can be finalized.
The commissioner has to give a certificate of compliance, but we haven’t even done that because we have seen a lot of issues that we are uncomfortable with. We are talking with the Ministry of Works for them to correct it.
“The communities around that area are clamouring that their lands have been taken and that they have not been compensated adequately. As a matter of fact, we got a letter from Onitsha traditional council complaining that they have not been adequately represented in this
“These kind of issues we are not saying that something has not been done properly but we need to be convinced that these few problems are sorted properly.
“We will also talk about the actual cost of the bridge, eventually we have asked the ministry of works to review it and justify how much the project should cost.
“For the second Niger bridge there will be a lot of studies that needs to be done on the integrity of the bridge itself which will take time it is not something we can see being completed in the next six months.
“I will like us to be patient about it. We know that it is a critical road. We also know how Nigerians suffer during festive holidays and we hear people sleep on that old bridge. The time has come for us to bring succour Nigerians”.