urges Nigerians to protect national assets
The Federal Government plans to spend N270 billion for maintenance, repair and restoration of over 50 bridges across the country in the next three years.Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, disclosed this yesterday while inspecting the rehabilitation works on the Lagos ring road bridge abutment and approach ramp to the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan awarded the project to Italian firm, Borini Prono & Company Nigeria Limited, following signs of some misalignments on the bridge caused by ecological problems, erosion and sand filling.
The Lagos outer ring road, which is the beginning of the Third Mainland Bridge from the outer Marina, links the Mainland to Victoria Island and Ikoyi.According to him, government plans to start with about N70 billion-N100 billion from the most critical bridges, to prevent their collapse and then move to the less critical ones.
He said: “What had been happening was that government waits until the bridges get bad and fail, before getting to work. We intend to change that if we get cooperation from the parliament this year. You have seen what we have done with the Jaji Bridge in Kaduna State and also the picture of Tambuwawa Bridge in Kano, which the Federal Executive Council just approved money for.”
According to him, “We have done our surveys and we are ready to go. We are only waiting for appropriation approvals because these kind of assets are difficult to rebuild again. Our obligations is to keep them in fair and useful maintenance so they achieve their usefulness.”
The minister however, appealed to the citizens shun the habits of devaluing national assets, saying some habits under our bridges and roads setback must stop if we are to get their full value.
Speaking on the project, the Joint Managing Director of Borini Prono & Company Nigeria Limited, Mr. Gianfranco Albertazzi said works on the bridge would be completed by November 2017.