By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
With all things being equal, the construction work on the collapsed bridge at Tatabu in Mokwa area of Niger state would be completed, Minister of State for Works, Power and Housing, Suleiman Hassan Zarma has assured.
The Tatabu bridge had given way last years following weeks of torrential rainfalls in July leading to huge traffic build up for days unend and causing anger, frustration and economic losses to commuters and other road users particularly those travelling from the northern parts of the country to the southern parts.
The Minister was on an inspection tour of ongoing work on some federal government owned sponsored projects in parts of the state.
Suleiman Hassan Zarma noted with satisfaction the quality of work being executed by the contractor handling the reconstruction work just as he commended the contractor for keeping to specifications and time for the completion of the project.
He said bearing all unforeseen developments, the bridge would be delivered anytime before the end of next month, (June). He assured that the federal government was committed to deliver on it’s assurances on the project and all other projects ongoing in the state and elsewhere.
The Minister similarly commended the patience and understanding of road users particularly those commuting along the northern flanks of the country to the southern axis, who have had to endure months of gridlocks while on transit along the Mokwa – Jebba road as the bridge is undergoing reconstruction following it’s collapse.
Weeks after the bridge came down, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had visited the site of the collapsed bridge during which he disclosed that the federal government had awarded contract for the reconstruction of the bridge at about N2.5 billion.
The Minister of State for Works explained that due to the usual heavy traffic on the road, the materials for the construction of the bridge have to be carefully selected to ensure quality and standard work for a long lasting life span and guard against wear and tear or failure.
The Minister was led on the visit to the site of the project by the Niger state Commissioner for Works, Abubakar Balarabe. He said because of the importance of the bridge in Nigeria’s national road networks, the federal government made sure that the reconstruction was handled by a reputable contractor who took time to design the bridge and procured all the needed materials and then commenced work on the project.
He said his visit was to ensure that the execution of the project was on course and completed on schedule. He expressed happiness with the extent of work on the project which he noted was nearing completion.
He regretted that the collapse of the bridge had led to untold hardship and caused huge economic losses but noted with joy that the bridge would soon be delivered to the joy of all.
The contract for the reconstruction of the bridge is being handled by CGC contracting firm. The company assured the Minister that the project would be completed before the end of next month.
Work on the project include expansion of the bridge, fortification of all its angles and colons, railings, length and wight.
The Minister of State for Works, Power and Housing also visited other projects being sponsored by the federal government in parts of the state. They include the construction of the Agaie – Baro road, the ongoing construction of Zungeru hydro electric power Dam and the two federal government housing schemes in Minna and Suleja.
He was also at the project site of the stalled Maje bridge along Suleja – Minna road which was awarded at the cost of N34 billion and at the Bida power transmission project as well as the Bakin Kiyu township roads project in Suleja.
Suleiman Hassan Zarma said when completed, all the ongoing projects would add values to the lives of all citizens and improve econonic growth and developments.