According to exclusive information obtained by The PUNCH, vandals have stolen certain road fittings from the recently inaugurated Second Niger Bridge.
A source from the works ministry confirmed the theft on Wednesday, revealing that the expansion joint walkway on axis 330 of the bridge was the target.
Confirming the incident, the source stated, “Unfortunately, it’s true. The stolen fitting is a crucial component of the bridge’s expansion joints. Motorists using that road should exercise caution as the damaged part could cause inconvenience.”
Another source, who spoke to our correspondent, supported the report and expressed the dissatisfaction of supervising engineers regarding the incident.
It can be recalled that on May 23, the former president, Muhammadu Buhari, virtually commissioned the N336 billion bridge, along with seven other infrastructure projects, via the online platform Zoom.
Former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, announced the completion of the bridge during a briefing in October 2022, after numerous failed promises by past administrations over almost five decades.
On December 15, 2022, the Federal Government opened the Second Niger Bridge for public use, aiming to alleviate traffic congestion in the South-East during the festive season.
Originally proposed during the 1978/79 political campaign by Shehu Shagari, the then-candidate of the National Party of Nigeria, the 1.6-kilometer bridge, modeled after Lagos’ Third Mainland Bridge, connects Anambra and Delta states. Its purpose is to reduce traffic on the existing Niger Bridge, stimulate economic activities, and enhance connectivity between the South-East and the rest of the country.
Efforts to reach the ministry spokesperson, Blessing Adams-Lere, for official confirmation, were unsuccessful, as calls went unanswered at the time of press.
More details to follow…