FG decries slow construction of Bokani bridge
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, had on July 2017, inspected the collapsed bridges and assured commuters that the Federal Government would ensure immediate construction of the bridges.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that two bridges in Tatabu and Bokani that links Western and Northern parts of the country collapsed on June 4 and June 11, 2017, respectively as a result of flood.
Mr Dayyabu Mamman, Zonal Director, Highways North Central, said that there was no excuse for the delay of work by the contractor.
“From 2017 and 2018, all contracts have been properly financed. The contractor don’t have any excuse not to hasten work because government is not owing them.
“Money had been made available and all contractors handling Federal government projects are back on site.
“Therefore, we expect them to work. From the look of things, it will be difficult to complete the bridge within the six weeks timeframe the contractor gave us judging by the slow movement of work at the site.
Mamman, who was represented by Mr Bola Aganaba, Deputy Director, Highways, North Central, urged the contractor to hasten the completion of the bridge before the raining season.
He said the diversion created for motorists would not accommodate articulated vehicles during the raining season.
He said that the Federal Ministry of Works would continue to monitor projects to ensure their timely completion.
Mamman warned that contractors who further delayed work would be sanctioned.
Meanwhile, Mr Shola Abidoye, Project Manager of the contractor, Horizon Construction Company Limited, attributed the delay in the completion of the bridge to difficulty in accessing materials.
“When we started work in June 2017, we were transporting materials from Abuja to the site instead of using Iiorin/Jebba that is closer to the site.
“But because the Tatabu bridge was cut off, the only closer route was Abuja to Minna then to Mokwa which is longer and that alone delayed the work for two months,” he said.
He added that a new piling of the bridge could not be done as a result of a traditional concrete that was used on the former bridge which was a challenge.
Abidoye said that the company resorted to using a dynamite to blast the concrete stage by stage which further delayed work.
He said that the cost of the project was N736 million and about N300 million had been expended on the project.
He, however, commended the Federal Government for prompt release of fund for the project and gave assurance that the project would be completed in six weeks time.
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