The House of Representatives Committee on Works have reiterated the Federal Government’s resolution to complete the Second Niger Bridge.
The group led by Mr Kabiru Gaya gave the assurance at a meeting with Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, in Asaba, the capital of the state.
Mr Gaya and other members of the committee briefed the governor after they visited the site of the bridge to ascertain the level of progress on the project as part of an ongoing investigation on how the funds for the project was disbursed by the former administration.
The River Niger Bridge in Onitsha, also known as the Onitsha Bridge, connects southeastern Nigeria with western Nigeria over the River Niger linking Asaba in Delta State.
Since its construction in December 1965, it has become relevant to the growth of the Nigerian economy, easing transportation and fostering trade and investments within the nation.
In order to reduce pressure on the bridge, the need to construct a second Niger Bridge has always been a welcomed idea for majority of Nigerians.
After getting information about the progress made, the committee members briefed Okowa on their findings.
While commending Governor Okowa for his infrastructural development projects and the quality of state representation in the National Assembly, Mr Gaya said that the bridge was a public-private project and that the government had earmarked funds to meet its part of the counterpart funding.
“We are here because the project is dear to the heart of Mr President and I know the project is dear to the governor and the people of Delta.
“I brought this able team because we are very much concerned about the project. Being a Public-private partnership project, we learnt the project has taken a very slow pace and the government is very much concerned. 18 billion Naira has been disbursed so far and 13 billion Naira has been approved for the project in next year’s budget.”
Governor Okowa told the lawmakers that strengthening of the legislature in the country was vital for the growth of democracy and decried the destruction to the roads by articulated vehicles.
He also wants regulation of the movement of heavy duty vehicles within Nigeria, insisting that a lot of roads had been destroyed by trucks especially those above 30 tonnes, as they ply roads not originally designed to carry their weight.
“Some federal and state roads have failed because of this and we need to designated appropriate roads for them to ply as is done in other clime.
“The National Assembly is doing very well. It must continue to maintain their watchdog functions. You must work hand in hand with the executive and apply your watchdog functions.
“The strengthening of the legislature is vital for the democracy.”
On completion, it is expected that the bridge would bring an improvement and accelerate the economic prosperity, transportation and exchange of goods and services across the country as well as reduce the pressure on the first Niger Bridge. (Channels TV)