FG Opens Second Niger Bridge
The federal government has ordered the opening of the Second Niger Bridge for use, in order to ease traffic in the southeast during the festive season.
The bridge will officially be opened to the public on Thursday night (15 December 2022).
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola stated this during the inauguration of the bridge on Wednesday.
Fashola, who took a walk around the bridge during the inspection, counselled road users plying the bridge to drive safely and responsibly in order not to defeat the purpose of constructing the project.
He said the bridge will be open for one month. Fashola noted that the bridge would be closed to traffic on January 15, 2023.
The minister pointed out that the President, Muhammadu Buhari’s purpose in completing the bridge was to save lives and alleviate poverty occasioned by the waste of many hours resulting from gridlock on the old First Niger Bridge.
He noted the opening of the Second Niger Bridge would reduce the sufferings of commuters who always experienced traffic congestion during the yuletide.
He explained that part of the money used in constructing the bridge was looted funds recovered mostly from the United States of America.
“A lot of people have talked about a solution but the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration decided to build the bridge whatever it took.
“So, wherever the funds came from, investment income, from our oil assets, repatriation of some funds that were stolen out of Nigeria came in from the US,” Fashola said.
“The result is now what we see. When people are talking about poverty, the biggest part of it is not monetary poverty, is multidimensional poverty.
“When you spend two to three days trying to cross a bridge, that’s poverty, because it should take just a few minutes so that you can go and do more productive things.
“The President approved that since the bridge is finished that we should create an access road so that during Christmas you can begin to experience what it would feel like plying the bridge.
“The maximum speed limit on Nigerian roads is 100km per hour. Don’t drive 101km per hour.
‘The President will be happy to see users drive safely and responsibly while using this road, especially during this Christmas and New Year seasons.
“The President wishes you a merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
“It would be open for traffic going from the west to the east from the 15th Dec 2022- the 15th of January 2023.
“Let me be clear again; we haven’t finished construction work on the bridge but we would open it for people to use to relieve the pressure from the one bridge. On January 15, 2023, we would reverse that movement for those coming from the east to the west.”
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