Work on the second bridge across the River Niger at Onitsha will begin in the first quarter of next year, the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen has said. The minister stated this yesterday during the inspection of rehabilitation work at the third mainland bridge in Lagos.
Also to begin in the first quarter of next year is the reconstruction of the International Airport Road in Lagos into an eight-lane carriageway. On the rehabilitation of the third mainland bridge, Onolememen said work pace was currently a week ahead of schedule, adding that it was possible to complete the bridge’s rehabilitation before the proposed due date of November 5 this year.
"The deadline we have given to Lagosians on completion of the maintenance work on the third mainland bridge will not change but rather we will work hard to see if we can get some mileage of say a couple of weeks. I thank you Lagosians for your patience and perseverance."
On the second Niger Bridge, Onolememen said, "the Federal Government’s intention is for real. The decision reached was that the FG’s counterpart funding for the bridge would come from the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme. When the SURE programme was put together, the second Niger Bridge featured prominently. That is why if you look at the SURE key programmes, over N20 billion was budgeted for the second Niger Bridge.
"During this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting, a consultancy advisory committee was inaugurated. We are determined to do the ground-breaking ceremony of the second Niger Bridge in the first quarter of next year."
He said many international consortiums have expressed interest in the concession of the second Niger Bridge. "As a matter of fact, these are people who are very vast in the issue of concession and are big names from Germany, Australia, France, Italy and many European countries."
Onolememen said the procurement of the contract of the bridge was not well done in the past but that there was a transparent system in place now to ensure that every procurement process was done the proper way.
On the federal government’s involvement in the proposed fourth mainland bridge, Onolememen said, "many people are not aware that the Federal Ministry of Works conceived and designed what is called the second Lagos outer ring road whose first section will take off from Apapa and Tin Can Island area through Sango-Abeokuta and empty into the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
"When we reviewed the proposal, the issue of the fourth mainland bridge came up and it was resolved that the project must include the fourth mainland bridge that will link Lekki with Ikorodu."
Second Niger Bridge Construction Begins Next Year