Abuja — THE House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to engage the services of a competent contractor to commence the construction of a second Niger bridge to support the one in use currently.
This resolution came, following a motion, threat of the collapse of the River Niger bridge, sponsored by Mr. Ezenwa Onyewuchi, representing Owerri Federal Constituency of Imo State.
Onyewuchi noted that the bridge, which links the South-East, South-South and South-West and some northern states, was on the verge of collapse due to its age, over use and lack of maintenance.
He said: "There is evidence of corrosion and cracks to the structural members of the bridge, which has been stretched beyond its limits and capacity."
He expressed worry that the eventual collapse of the River Niger bridge would lead to the death of many Nigerians and motorists, adding that a lot of properties will be lost in the mayhem as sections of the country will be cut off.
Onyewuchi further stressed that the collapse of the River Niger bridge would lead to the dislocation and disruption of commercial activities, adding that government will be forced to channel all its energy and resources in cushioning the hardship and other effects resulting from such collapse.
He said: "The promises of constructing a second Niger Bridge by the past and present administrations has been a mirage."
The House therefore urged the ministry of works to immediately commence the reinforcement, repairs and rehabilitation of the River Niger bridge to avoid the dire consequences of its collapse.