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N7bn Mobilised For Carter Bridge Repair, Julius Berger Undertaking N25bn Project, Says Works Minister Umahi 

Umahi says rehabilitation of the third mainland bridge indicates that the Tinubu administration will comprehensively repair other bridges in Lagos.

The Minister of Works, David Umahi, at the weekend stated that the contractor handling the Carter Bridge in Lagos has so far been mobilised to the tune of N7 billion for the ongoing repairs of the facility.

The minister spoke in Lagos while on an inspection tour of the three bridges linking Lagos Mainland with Victoria Island, including the ongoing rehabilitation works on the first section of the 3rd Mainland Bridge.

It was gathered that the project which has a total cost of N25 billion is being handled by Julius Berger.

Umahi also said that the successful completion of the rehabilitation works on phase one of the third mainland bridge was a clear indication that the Bola Tinubu administration was on course to carrying out comprehensive repairs on other bridges in Lagos.

A statement by the Director of Information in the ministry, Ben Goong, quoted the minister as saying that though the aesthetics of markings and solar lights on the Oworonshoki end of the bridge was beautiful, the underwater aspects of the project remained the most “complicated and critical.”

 He added that the underwater structural damage to the three bridges called for serious concern, but expressed optimism that the Tinubu administration was equal to the task and will confront the challenges head-on.

“He revealed that the contractor handling the Carter Bridge has been mobilised to the tune of N7 billion a couple of days ago, adding that rehabilitation works will commence in the coming days,” the statement stressed.

 Also speaking during an interview session with journalists, Chairman Senate Committee on Works, Senator Barinada Mpigi and the Chairman House Committee on Works, Akin Alabi, were quoted as calling on the president to declare a state of emergency on the nation’s infrastructure, given the enormity of the challenges on ground.

The chairmen said the situation calls for thinking outside the box, adding that the financial requirements needed to fix the nation’s infrastructure is well beyond the capacity of annual appropriations.

The duo however assured that the National Assembly will do everything possible within the limits of the law to help fund the projects, given their importance in the scheme of things in the nation’s commercial nerve centre.

Conducting the minister around different sections of the 3rd Mainland Bridge, the Carter and Eko Bridges, Federal Controller of Works in Lagos state, Olukorede Kesha told the minister that the underwater damage to the three bridges was far more colossal than anyone had imagined.

 Kesha also took the minister and members of his entourage to several sections of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, some sections of the Lagos-Ibadan express way, among other federal projects in Lagos state.

Meanwhile, Umahi has assured the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji of the federal government’s plan to speed up the construction and rehabilitation of roads in the state.

The minister spoke when he and the ministry’s team, in company with the governor undertook an inspection of some federal roads in the state.

The minister who was received by Oyebanji at the Akure Airport, inspected the Akure- Ikere -Ado dualized road, the Ado- ABUAD- Ijan Road that was recently awarded and visited the ABUAD Industrial Park Road, which is a model of concrete road construction.

Speaking with journalists in Ado Ekiti shortly after the inspection, Umahi  said the purpose of the visit was to assess the level of work done on some ongoing roads projects in the state, particularly Ado, Ijan road and Ado – Ikere – Akure road and to also see the state of federal roads in the state.

Acknowledging that the roads are major corridors to other parts of the country, the minister assured that his ministry will ensure timely completion of the roads for the benefit of citizens and economic development of the state.

Speaking about his assessment on the work done on the road, the minister said he was not satisfied with the level of work done on the Akure- Ikere- Ado road and revealed that the contractor had been invited for further instruction.

“We came to look at some of the ongoing projects in Ekiti state, especially Ado- Ekiti to Ijan Road. I didn’t know it was a major corridor that evacuates a lot of commercial produce from Benin to Lokoja and the southern part of the country.

“The governor is very desirous of this road and of course Chief Afe Babalola, we have looked at the roads and we are coming back. My team will give it all the desired attention, that’s what the governor wants,” the minister stated.

In his own remark, Oyebanji emphasised the significance of accessible and well-maintained roads in facilitating transportation, commerce, and the overall socio-economic progress of the state.

He assured that his administration would continue to collaborate with the federal government to ensure that federal roads are brought to satisfactory standards that will enhance the quality of life for the citizens.

The minister’s visit was sequel to the two working visits by the governor to the ministry of works in Abuja on account of federal roads in the state.

Emmanuel Addeh and Gbenga Sodeinde

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