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The Federal Government has directed the opening of the Second Niger Bridge for use during the yuletide to ear traffic in the South-East region.
The bridge was formerly opened in the late hours of Thursday.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who issued the directive on Wednesday at the inauguration of the bridge, stated that it will be opened for a period of one month during the festive period.
Fashola said that the bride will be shut down to traffic on January 15, 2023.
The minister asked motorists that will be plying the bridge to be cautious so as not to defeat the purpose of constructing the bridge.
Recall that the federal government disclosed last week that the bridge will be opened to traffic on December 15, 2022.
Fashola while speaking at the inauguration said President Muhammadu Buhari’s intention for completing the project was to present the loss of lives and reduce poverty caused by wasted time spent on traffic due to gridlock on the old First Niger Bridge.
He said, “A lot of people have talked about a solution but the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration decided to build the bridge whatever it took. So, wherever the funds came from, investment income, from our oil assets, repatriation of some funds that were stolen out of Nigeria came in from the US.
“The result is now what we see. When people are talking about poverty, the biggest part of it is not the monetary poverty, is the multidimensional poverty.
“When you spend two to three days trying to cross a bridge, that’s poverty, because it should take just a few minutes so that you can go and do more productive things.
“The President approved that since the bridge is finished that we should create an access road so that during Christmas you can begin to experience what it would feel like plying the bridge.
“The maximum speed limit on Nigerian roads is 100km per hour. Don’t drive 101km per hour. The President will be happy to see users drive safely and responsibly while using this road, especially during this Christmas and New Year seasons. The President wishes you a merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
“It would be open for traffic going from the west to the east from the 15th Decemeber 2022- 15th January 2023.
“Let me be clear again; we haven’t finished construction work on the bridge but we would open it for people to use to relieve the pressure from the one bridge. On January 15, 2023, we would reverse that movement for those coming from the east to the west.”