Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Nigeria’s infrastructure construction leader, said it has completed the last span of construction of the 1.6-kilometre Second River Niger Bridge project spanning from Asaba in Delta State to Onitsha, Anambra State, aimed at easing traffic, enhancing commercial activities and improving the lives of the people.
Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning, who witnessed the final concrete casting that connects the last span of the bridge to technically complete its construction, expressed satisfaction with the timely pace and premium quality of the job done by Julius Berger under the committed administrative oversight of the NSIA.
The minister described the second Niger Bridge as a very significant project for the federal government, because of the geo-integrative and huge developmental impact the project would have on the socio-economic lives of Nigerians.
According to Ahmed, the project, funded from the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), has been able to create about 20,000 jobs at the construction site.
“Today is a very significant day in the construction circle of the Second Niger Bridge. This is one of the most iconic projects in the country. The significance of today is that the two ends of the bridge are being put together, and this is the final phase of the work in truly completing the project and finishing the work.
“Technically, I can report to Mr. President that I have seen where all the billions have gone.
“This is a project that is very dear to the president and it is designed to uplift the lives and livelihood of people of the South-East and other parts of the country,” she stated.
Other senior government officials present at the project inspection included Gilbert Onyekachukwu Ibezim, deputy governor of Anambra state, Farouk Gumel, chairman, board of directors of the NSIA, and Uche Orji, the NSIA managing director.
Farouk Gumel expressed satisfaction with its implementation, adding that the second Niger Bridge would be a vital piece of national infrastructure at completion.
“We expect that it will serve as an enabler to cross-regional economic activities and stimulate growth on a national scale,” he said.
Uche Orji, the NSIA managing director, in his remark, said: “The Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) is a special fund set up by President Muhammadu Buhari, and is managed by the NSIA. The NSIA brought some of its own capital and the capital provided by the federal government.”
Orji listed other projects funded by the PIDF to include the ongoing Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Road (AKR) and the Lagos-Shagamu Expressway (LSE) projects.
Lars Richter, managing director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, was represented by a delegation led by Tobias Meletschus, the company’s executive director, corporate development. Other senior company officials on the team included Pierre Lubasch, the CEO of Julius Berger International in Germany; Oliver Berger, Abuja regional manager, Friedrich Wieser, the 2nd River Niger Bridge project director; Abdulazeez Kaita, senior management staff; Moses Duku, head of media relations; James Agama, head of corporate communications, amongst others.