Despite guarantees from the Federal Government that the bridge will open at 12am on Thursday, December 15, 2022, the bridge opened at precisely 9:50am.
A government representative who talked to Channels Television said that the delay was caused by a few minor alterations to the roadways leading to the bridge.
Sunday Emem, the first driver to cross the bridge, told Channels Television how happy he was. “I’m overjoyed; at least it will shorten the wait. We’ve been at the other bridge for more than an hour,” he remarked.
The second driver to cross the bridge, Obinna Eze, pleaded with the current administration to finish it by May 2023.
Although not quite finished, it is a reality, and what we have seen so far is spectacular. We applaud the current administration and hope they finish it by the deadline, Eze said.
Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Minister of Works and Housing, announced last Thursday that the Second Niger Bridge would be open to traffic from December 15, 2022, to January 15, 2023, to improve travel conditions over the holiday break.
The 1.6-kilometer-long bridge connects the states of Delta and Anambra.
Shehu Shagari, a candidate for the National Party of Nigeria at the time, first suggested building the Second Niger Bridge during the electoral campaign in 1978–1979 (NPN).
But in August 2012, the Federal Executive Council, presided over by the then-President Goodluck Jonathan, authorized a N325 million contract for the bridge’s final planning and design.
President Muhammad Buhari followed a somewhat convoluted process after initially terminating the earlier contract in August 2015. On September 1, 2018, the administration, however, resumed the contract.