The? Federal Government has solicited the support of the governors of Anambra and Delta states for the acutalisation of the Second Niger Bridge.
The Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, made the appeal on Friday in Awka and Asaba during separate meetings with the governors of the two states, Mr Peter Obi and Dr Emmanuel Uduagha, respectively.
He said the meeting was necessitated by the fact that Julius Berger Plc was working out final design details of the bridge.
It would be recalled that two weeks ago, the Federal Government announced that Julius/AIIM Consortium had emerged the preferred bidder for the project after the completion of procurement process.
Onolememen said the cooperation of the communities in the benefiting states was very crucial to the successful construction of the bridge.
Apart from its impact on the national economy, he said the bridge would boost economic activities of not only Anambra and Delta states, but also those of the entire south-eastern states.
The minister sought the cooperation of the governors of the two states in getting the Right of Way for the bridge, and promised that compensation would be speedily worked out for the affected communities.
“The Federal Government plans to provide a network of ring roads that would by-pass Asaba and Onitsha towns, as a permanent solution to the perennial traffic gridlock in the two towns, which are the gateway to the South Eastern part of the country.’’
This, according to him, will increase the capacity of the South East-South-West transport corridor.
In his remarks, Mr Wolfgang Geostche, the Managing Director of Julius Berger, promised to deliver a first class bridge in line with the company’s track record.
“I assure you that we are fully committed to delivering a first class bridge,’’ he said.
On his part, Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra promised to give the contractor the necessary support.
Obi, who expressed delight that the construction of the bridge would soon become a reality, promised that the host communities would give Julius Berger workers the needed support.
“The government of Anambra will supervise the project as well as provide adequate security for the workers; we will look after the project, tend it because it is very crucial to us.’’
In the same vein, Gov. Emmanuel Uduagha of Delta also gave assurance that he would give the contractor the needed support.
Julius Berger/African Infrastructure Investment Managers Consortium emerged the preferred bidder for the construction of the bridge.
Others that bided were ARM Consortium, Bouygues Consortium, China Harbour Consortium and Johnson-Matiere Consortium.
The project, which is to be undertaking under the Public Private Partnership arrangement, is expected to be completed, and delivered in 25 years. (NAN)