Buhari: I wasn’t consulted before naming of 2nd Niger Bridge after me

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday commissioned the 2nd Niger Bridge, the 1.6km bridge linking Asaba, Delta State with Onitsha, Anambra State and other Southeast States, as the bridge has been named after him.

He however stated that he was never consulted before the bridge was named after him.

President Buhari, who performed the commissioning of the bridge via Zoom, said the bridge is one of the critical infrastructures delivered by his administration to fight poverty, promote economic growth and ensure progress for the people.

He noted that the bridge and other projects being commissioned symbolised his administration’s sharp focus on delivering prosperity across the country.

“I am honoured to hand over this bridge and other projects for public use. The bridge will reduce travel time and promote economic activities in the South East, South-South and other parts of the country.

“Those crossing the old Niger bridge will no longer experience gridlock as it will help to improve the socio-economic activities of the South-East. In eight years, I am proud to say that we have developed Nigeria’s stock of infrastructure of Gross Domestic Products from about 20 per cent to over 40 per cent and that is not a small undertaken.”

Speaking earlier, the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, who also joined the event via Zoom, said, “This is a clear case of how infrastructure supports the people. It will take only a few minutes to cross the bridge of approximately 1.5km, travel time is reduced by 50 per cent. By this bridge, various properties in the area have appreciated.”

“After consultation with the state governors and other critical stakeholders, we decided to name the bridge Muhammadu Buhari Bridge.”

In his remarks, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said the bridge would help boost the nation’s economy and ease of doing business between Delta and Anambra states.

Okowa, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Ovie Agas, said that the 2nd Niger Bridge would create jobs and enhance economic growth within the two states.

In his contributions, Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, commended Buhari for keeping to his campaign promises of completing and delivering the bridge to the people of South-East.

“I am personally overjoyed. Today is a day of joy, we have come to express our gratitude. History is being made today, the people of the South-East have agitated, and we have complained about five key infrastructure projects.

“These five key projects, which were supposed to be a game changer to the economy of the South-East are the dredging of the River Niger, the second happens to be the 2nd Niger bridge, the third is the expressway that will lead from Anambra directly to Lokoja and the fourth are the gas pipeline and the fifth obviously is the railway line.

“Of these five projects, it is our pleasure that we have come to tick good to one of them and a major one at that, and that is the 2n Niger Bridge.”

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, who represented Buhari physically at the event, said, “Today is a great day for us. It is a day we have come together to rejoice. It is a promise given and a promise kept. This bridge signifies the major handshake between the West, East and the North.

“Successive governments have come and gone since 1965 when this 2nd Niger Bridge was first muted, but Buhari’s administration has deemed it fit to complete the bridge. In every project, there must be a hero and a hero must be named after every project and the hero of this project is President Buhari.”

Earlier, the Managing Director of Julius Berger, Dr Lars Richter, said that it was an honour for them to be part of this success story of delivering the 2nd Niger Bridge to the people of Delta and Anambra.

The governors of Delta, Anambra and Imo states as well as traditional rulers and other dignitaries were present at the event.

Credit: Vanguard

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