FG repairs vandalised Second Niger Bridge, tightens security

FG repairs vandalised Second Niger Bridge, tightens security
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The Federal Ministry of Works has fixed the vandalised railings and expansion joints used to absorb the thermal expansions at the Second Niger Bridge.

Uchenna Orji, the Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, disclosed this to our correspondent on Monday.

Orji said the vandalised sections of the bridge were fixed on Sunday.

He added that the Federal Ministry of Works is working with the police and other security agencies to tighten security stop vandalism on the bridge and save the “superstructure” from further damage.

He said, “Yes, the vandalised sections of the bridge have been fixed. Tough and decisive measures are being adopted by the ministry to curb further incidents of vandalism and theft of facilities on the Second Niger Bridge and other public infrastructure nationwide.”

This is following a video that circulated on social media last Monday showing how some rail fittings and expansion joints installed on the bridge were uprooted and vandalised by suspected vandals.

Sharing the video last Monday, a popular social media user, Lord Zeus, stood on the bridge, while advising drivers to be cautious of the uprooted joints, especially at night.

The minister of works had expressed deep shock over the development, lamenting that reports of vandalism were still being recorded, despite the presence of the private security outfit deployed by the Federal Ministry of Works to man the area.

Orji said, “Beautiful bounties have been placed on perpetrators and collaborators. The minister enjoins all road users, residents and authorities within the 1.6km concrete box girder bridge of the Second Niger Bridge, the two secondary bridges of 21.7m each on the Amakon village road, the cloverleaf interchange at Onitsha-Owerri road and the approach roads between Asaba, Delta State and Onitsha, Anambra State, to help keep watch against persons who vandalise, attempt to vandalise or tamper with the road infrastructure facilities on the project.

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“They are to arrest or report such persons to the nearest police station or call our hotlines – 08030986263(SA Media), 08033389700(Controller of Works FMW Anambra State), 08067736638(Controller of Works, FMW Delta State) or 08037056860 (Director Highways, Bridges and Design FMW).

“The Federal Ministry of Works shall promptly and handsomely reward any person or group who nabs or gives useful information on the identity of perpetrators of vandalism of facilities on the Second Niger Bridge or on any of our road infrastructure facilities nationwide, and shall not only ensure that such perpetrators face the full wrath of the law but shall also wield the long arms of the law on those who buy or patronise such stolen facilities.”

He added that the Minister reiterates the current administration’s commitment to changing Nigeria’s road infrastructure narrative.

He said the ministry would not tolerate any vandalism on public infrastructure, adding that security measures had been put in place on the bridge to allow for quick response to incidents of vandalism.

Last week, the Delta State police command dispatched a team of policemen to the vandalised section of the Second Niger Bridge.

The Delta State Commissioner of Police, Abaniwonda Olufemi, said the move was to secure the place.

Our correspondent, who visited the bridge on Monday, observed that the failed sections have been covered as vehicles moved smoothly although, the faulty streetlights have yet to be fixed, a situation that causes darkness on the bridge at night.

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