FG To Finish Repair Work On First Niger Bridge In December |The Republican News



Mr Innocent Alumonah, Federal Controller of Works, Anambra says the Federal Government will complete repair work on the existing Niger Bridge before the end of December.

Alumonah, who gave the assurance while speaking with newsmen on Monday in Asaba, said that the contract awarded in 2013 was 78 percent completed.

He said the essence of the emergency repair work was to ensure that the bridge was brought back to its full functionality and increase its lifespan.

The controller said the existing bridge was constructed in 1965 and commissioned in 1966, adding that the bridge had enjoyed a lifespan of 53 years.

“You can agree with me that the bridge is ageing and experiencing heavy traffic in addition to the axle loads going through it on daily basis.

“It is on this premise that the federal government decided to award a contract for the reinforcement of the bridge to bring it back to full functionality and extend its lifespan,” he said.

He said the scope of works on the project was mainly replacement of the damaged steel members, sandblasting and treatment of steel members against rusting.

Alumonah said the scope of the work also involved increasing the bearing capacity of the soil after it was realised that the wearing capacity was becoming weak.

“Soil line protection that will ensure that embankment of the bridge is not eroded and the replacement of the bridge bearing has all been carried out.

“Before the end of this year, we should see the end of the project because it is currently at its completion stage,” he said.

He blamed the delay in the completion of the project on some of the test carried out that required the assistance of some foreigners.

According to him, they brought in some foreigners from the UK who helped in the execution of the stabilisation of the soil.

Mr Henry Udeh, the Director of Highways Bridges Construction, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing said bridges, like other structures, required regular maintenance.

He said the existing Niger Bridge was undergoing normal routine maintenance because it was old and needed to be maintained to increase its lifespan.

“The work is seasonal because, as the raining season is setting in, the water level will start increasing.

“Once it gets to a time that the contractor cannot work again, they will stop and wait for the next dry season.

“That is one of the major reasons for the delay in the project,” he said. (The Sun)

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Second Niger Bridge Yet To Be Awarded, Says FG |The Republican News



Aidoghie Paulinus, who was in Onitsha

Despite assurances by the Federal Government on the completion of the Second Niger Bridge, the contract for the construction of the main bridge has not been awarded, Daily Sun can report.

But soothing news, however, came from the Director of Highways, Bridges and Design, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Engr Sogbesan Adetokunbo, who said the award of the contract is on the pipeline.

Adetokunbo said a memo will be forwarded to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) soon for approval and the construction of the bridge will be carried out within a period of fewer than two years.

He added that in order to complete the bridge, the project would require a total sum of N210 billion.

Adetokunbo said: “The early works one to three has been completed. Early works one comprising of the design of the road, soil investigation, preliminary drawing and fine engineering drawing.

“Early works two and three comprising of pile caps on Asaba end, and early works four which is ongoing, is at the Onitsha end. And some of these pile caps have been completed as at date.
“Like I said, one, two and three are hundred percent completed. But on this project, it is about 45 percent completion; early works four.

“But the main works which are the main bridge is at the point of procurement. The estimate has been completed, a memo has been written to the Bureau of Public Procurement for no objection and thereafter, a memo would be sent to FEC for approval and once it is approved, the main works will be awarded.”

Adetokunbo further said roads were awarded along with the bridge such as Road (A) that connects the Benin-Asaba end which is about 13 kilometres.

He also said Road (2) is about 15 kilometres, adding that the entire corridor is about 40 kilometres.

“What we are doing now is about five or six piling on Asaba end and about six or seven on Onitsha end.

“The early works one, two and three were done under Public Private Partnership (PPP), but the Federal Government felt we shouldn’t toll it.

“So, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing took it over. We are paying now. We are paying 100 percent for the project as at date.

“But the main works will be awarded in the next one or two months and the roads 2A and 2B will be awarded very soon, before the end of this year,” Adetokunbo added.

Adetokunbo also said once the main bridge is awarded, it will not take up to two years before completion.

“It will not be up to two years to be completed. It will be completed within two years,” he said.

Asked how much was needed to complete the main bridge, Adetokunbo said: “It is about N210 billion at the current rate to complete the main bridge works.”

Speaking earlier, Adetokunbo said the project is a massive and essential project that connects Lagos port to Mombasa Port in Kenya.

He added that the project is one that is very critical, not only to the Nigerian economy but to the countries along the road corridor which include Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Uganda and Kenya.

Adetokunbo also said the project is to connect Lagos port to Mombasa port to enhance economic activities not only in Nigeria but Africa in general.

Speaking earlier, the Federal Controller of Works, Anambra state, Engr Innocent Alumonah, said the Second Niger Bridge is 1.59 kilometres in length and located 1.7 kilometres on the downstream sector of the existing Niger Bridge.

The bridge, Alumonah added, has two end spans of 40 meters, two number intermediate spans of 90 meters and 16 numbers intermediate spans of 55 meters.

The Second Niger Bridge, Alumonah also said, has three navigational channels, making a total of 1.59 kilometres. (The Sun)

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Military/IPOB Clash: Police Beef Up Security In Asaba, Delta State |RN


Soldiers in Aba

From PAUL OSUYI, Asaba
With the fear of a possible spillover of clashes in parts of the South-East to Delta State in the South-South, the state police command has deployed patrol teams to strategic areas.
The clashes which started earlier in the week is between military personnel and members of the separatist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The situation in Asaba is however calm and devoid of any form of hostility as residents went about their normal activities unhindered.
Saturday Sun observed the presence of the detachment of mobile and regular policemen particularly in Okwe area of the capital city.
Okwe is considered as a settlement for IPOB and other Biafra agitators obviously for its proximity to the River Niger which is the boundary between Delta State and states in the South-East.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Zanna Ibrahim could not be reached to speak about the development as he was said to be attending a conference in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Public Relations Officer of the command, DSP Andrew Aniamaka told our correspondent on the telephone that the deployment of officers was a proactive measure to forestall breakdown of law and order.
He said the presence of uniformed policemen in strategic locations was not intended to cause tension but provide adequate security for law-abiding citizens.
“It is our duty to ensure that people feel free and secure. However, if there is an incident in your neighbour’s area, while you are trying to bring it under control, you also take deliberate steps to ensure that such incident does not spill over to your area.
“So basically our duty is to ensure there is order. Part of what we promised the people is civil policing, democratic policing and policing with a human face. People should, therefore, be reassured that there is no cause for alarm,” he said.   (The Sun)

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