By Nwanosike Onu, Awka
President Muhammadu Buhari and Julius Berger Plc have assured the Southeast that the 2022 date for completion of second Niger Bridge is sacrosanct despite challenges.
Minister of Works Babatunde Fashola conveyed the President’s message in a town hall meeting with host communities in Anambra and Delta on Friday.
He said despite the COVID -19 and conflicts in 2020 which delayed the job in one way or the other, the 2022 date would not be changed.
If anything will change, he said it would only be the month of completion.
“The President asked me to assure you that nothing would stop the completion of the project in 2022.
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“The project is on course; thanks to the governors of Anambra and Delta States, Willie Obiano and Ifeanyi Okowa for their efforts in returning normalcy here.
“Notwithstanding the initial conflict and COVID19 heat, the project will be delivered as scheduled in 2022 .The President is committed to that date.”
Fashola said the project would cost the Federal Government N414 billion while calling for peace sacrifice and patience from the host communities.
“This is huge investment. We need peace to finish this work; we need patience ,we some sacrifice. We shall remediate what you go through.
“You will not be left behind; we shall control the flooding resulting from the construction.
“Compensation is a big issue. It will be better for the state governments of Anambra and Delta States engage the host communities while we deal with the state governments about issues of compensation .
“But the government does not have all the money. Even if oil price drops further, this project must continue.”
On Zik’s masoluem, which he inspected, Fashola said a management board had been constituted to handle it so that the facility would not go into disuse.
He however called for concerted efforts in keeping the place in order, stating “Zik belongs to all of us”