Nigeria’s president Buhari commissions second Niger bridge

Nigeria’s president Buhari [Photo: Tribune Online]

Nigeria’s outgoing president Muhammadu Buhari has opened a 1.6km (one-mile) bridge crossing the Niger River in the south-east of the country.

Buhari attended the inauguration ceremony virtually via Zoom, where it was agreed it would be named after him.

It will be known as the Muhammadu Buhari Second Niger Bridge, and links the city of Asaba in Delta State to Onitsha in Anambra State.

“Without investing in infrastructure, the road out of poverty is much tougher,” his assistant Buhari Sallau quoted the 80-year-old president as saying.

Buhari, who has less than a week left in office also commissioned six other projects via Zoom.

The Minister of Works and Housing – Babatunde Fashola, announced the completion of the bridge at a briefing in October 2022, after almost five decades of failed promises by successive administrations.

On December 15, 2022, the Federal Government also opened the Second Niger Bridge for use to ease traffic in the South-East during the festive season.

The Second Niger Bridge was first proposed during the 1978/1979 political campaign by then-candidate Shehu Shagari of the National Party of Nigeria.

Among the differences between the old and new bridges is that the new bridge is more extensive and can accommodate more than six vehicles on its lanes; it also has a demarcation that separates inward and outward-bound cars, which the old bridge does not have because it has become too narrow to accommodate the increasing influx of vehicles.

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