Some residents of Onitsha in Anambra State, Thursday, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the construction of the second Niger Bridge. According to them, the bridge, which is 95 percent completed, is Buhari’s legacy project.
An Onitsha-based businessman, Chief Charles Omife, said the second Niger Bridge would eliminate the perennial gridlocks on the Onitsha-Asaba road.
He said, “President Muhammadu Buhari lives by his words. With this bridge, he has solved our age-long problems that defied all hopes. Those of us that bring in goods from Lagos to Onitsha will now have a sigh of relief.”
An official of the traders’ association in the market, Mr Uchenna Okite, said the project had endeared Buhari to the traders. In his words, “This bridge at a time became a political matter. Past presidents of Nigeria campaigned to build the second Niger Bridge, and nothing happened.”
A senior researcher at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Dr Anayo Okonkwo, appealed for the dredging of the River Niger after the completion of the bridge.
According to him, “The high cost of goods in South East is the cost of bringing goods from Lagos, and the high cost of gas. If the river is dredged, definitely, ships can dock, and our economic problems would have been solved.”
THE WHISTLER reports that the second Niger Bridge will be opened to traffic on December 15, and would be used for thirty days.
The federal controller of works in Delta State, Mr Jimoh Olawale, stated this on Wednesday. According to him, “As we know, during the Christmas celebration, commuters suffer hardship accessing the old Niger Bridge due to traffic, but with this arrangement, traffic congestion on the Asaba-Benin Expressway will ease.
“We have notified the state government of this arrangement, and we are working with the Federal Road Safety Corps to ensure hitch-free vehicular movement.
“Motorists going in the direction of Owerri would divert through the access road near the old Niger Bridge to the new bridge.”
Olawale said contrary to some reports, the FG had not abandoned the payment of compensation to property owners along the access road to the second Niger Bridge.